Bringing a thoroughly contemporary sound to the piano and keyboards, Bugge Wesseltoft made a huge impact in his homeland of Norway during the '90s.
After that, he toured internationally, working in both jazz and rock contexts. In the early '90s he was a member of Arild Andersen's band, and played on Jan Garbarek's Molde Canticle, a commission from the Molde Jazz Festival. With both of these artists, he blended in well with the postmodern concepts of ECM Records. Other artists with whom he worked during these years were guitarists Terje Rypdal and Jon Eberson, and singer Sidsel Endresen. With the latter, he was on her commissioned project for the Molde Jazz Festival, which was recorded for ECM. His own commissioned work, A Little War Story, was performed at the 1993 Vossa Jazz Festival. In 1995 Wesseltoft formed his own band, New Conception of Jazz, and the Jazzland record label, the first album from which was awarded a Spellemannprisen (the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy) in the following year. In the mid-'90s he toured and recorded with Billy Cobham, Endresen, and Garbarek again, appearing on the latter's Rites.
During these years and on to the end of the decade, his music found an audience among those who inhabited Norway's techno and dance music scenes. On 1998's Sharing, he raised some eyebrows by his extensive use of club DJs and scratchers. This connection with the club world led to the 2000 release of Jazzland Remixed, which enhanced his reputation even more with that audience. This cross-pollinated sound can be heard on such releases as his 2003 effort with Joyce & Banda Maluca, Just a Little Bit Crazy; his 2006 collaboration with Michy Mano, The Cool Side of the Pillow; and his 2009 solo album, Playing, which found him using sound processing and real-time looping. In 2012 he joined violinist Henning Kraggerud for Last Spring, followed in 2014 by the ethnic fusion effort OK World. He delivered the atmospheric solo piano album Everybody Loves Angels in 2017. ~ TiVo Staff, Rovi