A few days ago an extremist murdered 69 young Labour Party activists on Utoya Island and 7 more in central Oslo. The purpose of this senseless massacre was to cower a nation and to stop the ruling Labour Party in its tracks. Neither has occurred as Norway is made of sterner stuff than that and more than a million people gathered in Oslo to underscore their deeply held commitment to tolerance and humanism. A sense of shared humanity will continue to steer this small nations course and no far-right fundamentalist will be able to derail that purpose. By now most people get the bitter irony of this massacre, as the atrocity was perpetrated against one of the worlds most peace-loving and tolerant peoples (Oslo is the home of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Oslo Peace Accord). Norway not only looks after its own citizens well, but it sets an example to the wider world when it comes to foreign aid.
This was no shadowy middle-eastern jihadi as a few foolish people had suggested, but an altogether more recognisable figure was resposible. A pathetically deluded white male who professed admiration for the worst genocidal killers of Europe.
Norway has produced many fine Jazz musicians and I have included several clips which can speak for themselves. The first is the tune ‘Oslo‘ by ‘Mathias Eick‘. What begins as an eerie trumpet call soon evolves into a gently swinging tribute to this peace-loving city. The second is a tune by ‘Jan Garbarek‘ and ‘Shankar’ and is titled ‘paper nut’. ‘Garbarek’ will need little introduction to Jazz audiences.