Ingar Zach is part of a contingent of Norwegian avant-garde jazz musicians who organized themselves a scene in the mid- to late-'90s. A free jazz drummer with a propensity to slip effortlessly into something more non-idiomatic, Zach displayed a good balance between industriousness and subtlety, much like countryman Paal Nilssen-Love. He is best known for his work in the groups Tri-Dim and No Spaghetti Edition. He co-runs the small free improv label Sofa.
Born in 1971, Zach has studied classical music in Oslo and jazz in Trondheim (at the same institution attended by Nilssen-Love, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and a whole generation of creative jazz musicians). He made his first professional steps with the folk big band Chateau Neuf Spelemannslag, one of the groups featured on guitarist Henry Kaiser's Norwegian music collections for Shanachie Records, Sweet Sunny North (in 1994 and 1996). This international exposure fostered interest and the group recorded Stolen Goods in 1998. Meanwhile, Zach was getting involved in many jazz and less jazz improv groups. Tri-Dim, with Swedish guitarist David Stackenäs and Norwegian reedsman Håkon Kornstad, remains the most stable. A first album came out in 1999 on the label BP. The trio toured the United States in November 2000 and performed at the Molde International Jazz Festival with British bassist Barry Guy as their guest, a concert documented on 2002's 2 of 2. Just before he crossed the Atlantic, Zach played a few concerts in duet with improv legend Derek Bailey. Back home he co-founded Sofa, an imprint of the jazz/world label NorCD, together with Ivar Grydeland and Karl Seglem. Since early 2001, the label has released a number of albums featuring Zach, including duets with Grydeland and Bailey, the quartet Wazahugy (with Grydeland, Charlotte Hug and Philipp Wachsmann), and two CDs by No Spaghetti Edition, a large pan-European free improv ensemble. ~ François Couture