After a decade living in Minnesota's Twin Cities area, Thor Polson became fed up with the state's below-zero temperatures and moved west after recording one last album with several musical cohorts.

After a decade living in Minnesota's Twin Cities area, Thor Polson became fed up with the state's below-zero temperatures and moved west after recording one last album with several musical cohorts.

Polson describes the nostalgic album, "Northern Lights," as a "farewell to the area and its arctic conditions."

"It represents some of the strongest music I've ever composed or recorded," says the now Ashland-based pianist about his 11th album.

The original album comprises eight instrumental jazz pieces, one country tune ("I'm Everything I Never Thought I'd Be") and an improvisational song ("The Kensington Runestone") in which Polson introduced musical motifs and allowed the other musicians to "react."

Other tracks on the album depict the seasons in St. Paul, Minn. Of course, "Winter" is longest.

The CD premiere will be at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at La Baguette Bakery, 340 A St., Ashland, where Polson will play the CD and have copies for purchase. All proceeds from album sales at this event will benefit local charities, particularly the Dunn House women's shelter, Children's Advocacy Center of Jackson County, Ashland Emergency Food Bank and Hope House, a Salvation Army homeless shelter in Medford.

For more information or a copy of "Northern Lights," call 541-482-2304.