Straight, No Bass...er
Never fear, familiarity breeds neither contempt nor complacency in this case. These two musicians are in perfect tune with one another. "The Sea V" opens with what could only be the rumblings of the lowest register of a Bosendorfer. Bjornstad divines sonorous foreboding from the mammoth instrument while Rypdal extracts any number of interesting sounds from his Fender on full compression. Rypdal sounds like a fully formed David Gilmore as the technical limit approaches infinity. In popular music, Rypdal would be a power ballad practitioner with no peer.
Life in Leipzig is a cerebral tone poem. In the same way that Kristjan Randalu takes a percussive approach to the piano on Live so Bjornstad takes an almost strumming attack to his keyboard. This collection of tunes is well grounded in rhythm and melody with free musical association held to a minimum. Critical mass is reached on the closing track, "The Return of Per Ulv," where pop meets jazz meets speed metal. One can detect the importance of the Beatles in the melody line as expressed by an assertive Rypdal. This disc is a gale-force wind blowing relentlessly.
Tracks and Personnel
Tracks: Confidance; All The Things You Are; Largo (from Dvorak's Symphony No. 9); Hinken; If I Were A Bell; Igauhel oma pill.
Personnel: Kristjan Randalu: piano; Bodek Janke: percussion.
Tracks: Clear; Pathway; Dunan Song; Joy Chant; Bell-Painting; Elixir; Orientales; Metal Due; Mountain Breath; Creature Walk; Spirit Of Air; Spirit Of Sun; Sheep Dream; Talking Wind; Totem Dance; The Siren In The Well; River; On The Move; Winter Wish; Clear Recycle.
Personnel: Marilyn Masur: percussion; Jan Garbarek: tenor and soprano saxophones, flute.
Life in Leipzig
Tracks: The Sea V; the Pleasure is Mine, I'm Sure; The Sea II; Flotation and Surroundings; Easy Now, Notturno (fragment), Alai's Room; By the Fjord; the Sea IX; Le Manfred/Foran Peisen; The Return of Per Ulv.
Personnel: Ketil Bjornstad: piano; Terje Rypdal: guitars.