Paal was born in Molde, Norway, Dec 24. 1974, and raised at a jazz club in Stavanger, run by his parents. It was natural to choose his fathers drums as his instrument and jazz as his work. From 1990 on he took actively part in the jazz milieu in Stavanger and joined bands with established musicians such as trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen and saxophonist Frode Gjerstad. In many ways, these collaborations were essential as they pointed out the directions for Paal’s later musical development and career. During his studies at the Jazz dept at the University in Trondheim, where the first self initiated bands were established, things developed really fast – and Paal was nationally acknowledged at the age of 20.
All bands, although various styles and musical versatility in general, represent important pieces that make up a total, and all bands are formed or joined with a clear vision. Today Paal’s portfolio includes Atomic, School Days, The Thing, Frode Gjerstad Trio, Sten Sandell Trio, Scorch Trio, Territory Band, FME, and various duo projects such as with reedmen Ken Vandermark, John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, organist Nils Henrik Asheim and noise wizard Lasse Marhaug. And not to forget the recently joined Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet.
Before turning 30 Paal has stated his position as one of the most profiled drummers in Europe today, he has made numberless performances at festivals and clubs in Europe and USA and participated on more than 50 recordings. He runs his own annual festival – All Ears - for improvised music in Oslo, which is an important part of his musical life, and he plans to start his own recording label for vinyl productions.
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Dan Quelette, Down Beat“Nilssen-Love is one of the most innovative, dynamic and versatile drummers in jazz!” ”