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Sometimes jazz works because it feels like someone is lacing fingers behind your neck, yanking your melon to the ground, and driving a knee into your grill. But In the Country, the Norwegian trio that performs twice as part of the Nordic Jazz Festival, makes music that is the opposite of violence. As heard and seen on the new Sounds and Sights CD/DVD, the group’s music is a wine-soaked boat ride through majestic fjords, or a mushroom-laced stroll through the deep forest. Pianist Morten Qvenild, bassist Roger Arntzen, and drummer Pål Hausken sway as one with the swirling surges of sound, creating a kaleidoscope of beauty that caresses your brain and does not pummel your face. It’s not always gentle music, but In the Country is forever gentlemanly: smart, suave, sophisticated, and in the superior class of modern-day piano trios.
In the Country performs at 7 p.m. on the House of Sweden rooftop, 2900 K St. NW. $25. The group also performs at Twins Jazz on June 20.