Album reviews

Fragile Magic (2024)

Textura (CA)
“Attentive listening between the participants is evident throughout, no matter the differences in tone from one piece to the next; improvisation is likewise present yet never spirals out of control. It goes without saying that the chemistry between the three—their “fragile magic,” as it were—is in abundant supply too.” (NZ)
“The interplay is of the highest order”

Rainer Guérich (DE)
“The compositions reveal a depth born from the sensitive interaction among the musicians, captivating jazz enthusiasts. Recommended!”

Jazz.In (JP)
“it’s worth noting that the music is not necessarily piano-driven throughout, indicating an evolution in their approach that is intriguing to witness. There are also rugged tracks that overturn the stereotypical image of Iceland, making it worth listening without preconceptions”

Farfuglar (2023)

Adam Baruch (IL)
\”very interesting piece of music, with a unique sound and unusual innovative approach to improvisation, which is almost impossible to find these days.\”

Concerto Magazin (AT)
\” A wonderful album that captures the North as it sounds when mixed with the various musical influences of this world. (DE)
\”Fascinating, full of lyricism and extraordinary spaces – this music is worth listening to.\” 

inMusic (DE)
\”First-class contemporary jazz album that is influenced by the Scandinavian/Icelandic sound tradition. Recommended! \”

Jazz Japan (JP)
\”Ingi Bjarni, who composed all the songs, presents a strongly narrative style that reflects the unit\’s individuality.\”

Jazz Views (UK)
\”This gentle album sounds like the end of winter in search of spring and offers a sojourn well worth taking.\”

Jazz Probe (JP)
\”The quintet flies freely and radiates outward, stimulating the listener\’s imagination, while the polished arrangements and high improvisational skills maintain a comfortable atmosphere and expands emotions.\”

Musiczine (BE)
\”In short, Ingi Bjarni is profiling himself as an improvising sound magician.\”

Tor Hammerø (NO)
Both collectively and individually, a high level is maintained\”

Jazz Journal (UK)
\”the essence of this music lies in its open yet beautifully attuned and structured group awareness and interplay.\”

Lessons (2021)

Jazz Journal
\”As I’ve remarked before, this intriguingly gifted pianist has for some time now shown an impressive ability to shape his own world, his own poetics. He is blessed with strongly interactive and sensitive hands, a near-classical touch as pleasing as his ever-patient and assured sense of time\” 

All About Jazz
 \”..the pianist\’s ten compact elaborations on Lessons harbor their own unique depths and colors, setting Ingi Bjarni apart from his peers.\”

Stacja Islandia
\”The album is impressive while it also makes you reflect. It is an high-class album that strengthens the artist\’s important position within the Icelandic jazz scene. Highly recommended.\” 

Jazz Japan
\”A record of selfless expression. This piano solo work has the incentive to make you want to listen to Ingi\’s past works\”

Han er sammen med nogle stærke melodistykker, som han har komponeret i løbet af 2020 – og derfor er Ingi Bjarnis plade også den mest helstøbte i stakken. Der er en ro omkring ham og flygelet. Elegant og rolig klavermusik med inspiration fra både klassisk og jazz.


Tenging (2019)

All About Jazz
“Tenging is a highly accomplished work of art that flows with ease and coherence….Ingi Bjarni is deserving of wide recognition for his skills as a composer as well as his perceptive piano playing.”  

Jazz Journal
“a suite of genre-bridging music of captivating poetic ambience, rooted in an overall subtlety of melodic figure and rhythmic interaction….A distinctive and rewarding album, which impresses more and more with each hearing.”  

Tor Hammerø
\”Ingi Bjarni har med hjelp av sine fire medsammensvorne, som han har hatt i bakhodet da han skreiv i musikken, skapt fascinerende og melodiske lydlandskap som er alt fra reflekterende og nedpå til utadvendte og sprudlende.\”  

Debbie Burke
“Pianist/composer Ingi Bjarni has a delicate affinity for nuance which is layered with beautiful precision in his quintet’s new CD “Tenging.”  

All About Jazz
\”Take some time with it, and Tenging indeed turns out to be a work to connect with and enjoy.\” 

Jazz Views
“Skúlason’s playing moves effortlessly between a jazz idiom and something closer in manner to (classical) Concert piano. 

Jazzism (NL)
\”Het brede kleurenpalet doet inderdaad Scandinavisch aan, met warme lyrische melodieën en harmonieën, dynamisch, de ruimte opzoekend en sound-scapeachtig. De synergietussen de muzikanten is sterk\” 

Jazz Japan (JP)
“Their sound, reminiscent of the Northern spirit, not only resonates well with ECM but also showcases the individuality of the members.”

Fundur (2018)

All About Jazz
“Ingi Bjarni Skúlason fluidly melds the extreme landscapes of his native Iceland with an innate, resilient melodicism that shifts willfully within the body of his music like a slideshow of the wild Icelandic terrain.”  

..a particular diligence, an endeavor for relevance, and a restful sound makes listening a pleasure…Here is a good piano trio from Iceland“ (translated) – 

London Jazz News
“So although achieving prominence in the acoustic jazz piano trio arena can be a challenge, here the co-ordination of propulsion, contemplation and memorable hook is delivered with panache to a receptive ear.”  

“This is Nordic jazz of the most beautiful kind. Ingi Bjarni uses his sense of lyricism to create melodies, where the Nordic jazz language is as warm and comfortable as a hot spring in Iceland.” (translated)
“The result is a very unique, colorful album that offers lyrical musical poetry from the cold north, but in a very gentle, warm melancholic form.” (translated) – 

Stacja Islandia
“Ingi Bjarni Trio deserves special praise for their creativity. I am very impressed with their fascinating, passionate and suggestive narrative, where they capture the beauty, magic and spirit of Scandinavia.” (translated) 

Johanan ‘Jo’ Bickhardt
“Piano trios may have a standard operating procedure, but this trio has the openness and musical exploration that is a shining example for the genre it presents.” 



Skarkali (2015)

All About Jazz
“His playing is clear and crisp, with each note given deep meaning. Bobo Stenson comes naturally to mind in the space given each note. This deep, clear sound is echoed by the harmonies chosen, which sound simple, but are full of ambiguity. Although his music is highly emotional, it is constrained by a deep intelligence which produces a wonderful sense of playful control.”

All About Jazz  
“The result is completely unpredictable not only from track to track, but also within each track. The arrangements show that Skúlason knows what he is doing as he builds architectural structures that rise up, grow and expand only to shift and dart in a different direction when least expected. This music is paradoxically enigmatic while being direct, intimate while feeling wide open and superficially beautiful while exploring harsh landscapes” 

London Jazz News
“Skarkali (translated, Loud noises) carries a depth of invention, verve and delicacy which sets it apart from any run-of-the-mill piano trio expectation. Preconceptions happily disintegrate as this nine-track session unfolds, offering a measured blend of folksy, tuneful accessibility and sparky, creative unpredictability.”
“They have made a good record with a well-balanced mixture of melancholy, good harmonies and a small dose of rock rhythms” (translated)

Stacja Islandia 
“Skarkali is filled with an emotional tone and spacious, relaxed sound while also being firm and clear. The musical magic contained on the album makes it extremely pleasant to listen to. Skarkali is a very good contemporary jazz album!” (translated) 
“..there is boldness and confidence within their power, unexpected harmonic and melodious streets. Magic, slow and melodious splendor all strive for an escape from reality! Wonderful lyricism! (translated) 

AP Reviews
“Skarkali nr. 4 at AP Reviews list of recommended recordings of 2015”  

All About Jazz
„Stylish controlled unit worthy of many listens.“ 

Leiden Jazz Award
“The jury believes that makes Ingi Bjarni remarkable compositions. In addition, the group sound is beautiful and the interplay is well matched. It is worth mentioning that Ingi Bjarni plays original solos.” (translated)