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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Terje Rypdal: Melodic Warrior

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Some albums are worth the wait, even if that wait is a full decade. The lion's share of guitarist Terje Rypdal's Melodic Warrior is devoted to the nine-movement title suite, a 2003 recording with the Bruckner Orchester Linz and, most importantly, the Hilliard Ensemble, the vocal ensemble that leapt to greater fame with Officium (ECM, 1993), the first of three recordings with Rypdal's fellow countryman, Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek. The four-movement “And the Sky was Coloured with Waterfalls and Angels," from a 2009 performance with the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra at Poland's renowned Jazztopad Festival, rounds out the record, a series ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Terje Rypdal: Crime Scene

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Such is the strength of the ECM aesthetic--visually as well as musically--that it's one of very few record labels in the history of jazz that is referred to describe a person's musical tastes. The northern European jazz sound which Manfred Eicher has made synonymous with his fabled label--cool, spacious, pastoral--colors the majority of ECM releases, so it's something of a surprise to be confronted by guitarist Terje Rypdal rocking out, backed by the seventeen-piece Bergen Big Band, crashing drums, swirling Hammond-B 3, and a touch of psychedelia to boot.Rypdal's continuous, hour-long commission was recorded live in Bergen at ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Terje Rypdal: Crime Scene

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Norwegian guitarist and ECM principal, Terje Rypdal has defied narrow and expedient labels throughout his long career. Originally a rocker, he joined Jan Garbarek's quartet (and ECM) in 1969. In the course of his career, he has composed a number of symphonies, two operas, a violin concerto and many modern works that, as often as not, elude genre definitions. Rypdal's quantity and quality of jazz and free jazz compositions may skew his profile toward jazz, but his versatility and the settings in which he works exist are far more universal. Further substantiation of Rypdal's musical elasticity comes in Crime Scene, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ketil Bjorstad / Terje Rypdal: Life in Leipzig

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What a sound--a feast for the ears! Life in Leipzig presents pianist Ketil Bjørnstad and guitarist Terje Rypdal in concert at Leipzig's Opera House, during that city's jazz festival in 2005, with music that will astound those unfamiliar with these players or the manner in which they interact. This performance is a snapshot of much history at the ECM label. Rypdal was present almost at its inception, playing on fellow Norwegian Jan Garbarek's Afric Pepperbird (ECM, 1971), following it up with his own eponymous recording in 1972. Wildly inventive in his use of electronics, and not limited ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ketil Bjornstad / Terje Rypdal: Life in Leipzig

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The reward is great when a new and unusual teaming of musicians turns out to be not only artistically and critically successful, but the genesis of long term musical relationships. When ECM's Manfred Eicher proposed bringing neoclassical pianist Ketil Bjørnstad, generally rock-inflected, but stylistically broad guitarist Terje Rypdal, cellist David Darling and drummer Jon Christensen together, it seemed more incongruous than inspired. Eicher's reputation for astutely seeing potential where most would not resulted, however, in two albums from this quartet dubbed The Sea--The Sea (ECM. 1995) and The Sea II (ECM, 1998). Both explored the rich nexus where Bjørnstad's classical ...

INTERVIEWS

Terje Rypdal: In A Miles Mood

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Norwegian guitar icon Terje Rypdal surfaced more than three decades ago as a new guitar voice, but he strode out of the fields of rock music, not jazz. He was influenced a great deal by the electronic jazz/fusion of the late 1960s and early 1970s and his early work with the likes of saxophonist Jan Garbarek and renowned composer George Russell brought him to the eye of American listeners, through the ECM label with which he has been affiliated since 1970.

Since coming onto the scene and recording extensively, he has influenced guitarists in the U.S. with his style that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Terje Rypdal: Vossabrygg

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You don't need to know that Vossabyrgg means literally “Vossa Brew" to recognize this homage to the late trumpeter Miles Davis. From the first notes of “Ghostdancing"--which quotes directly from “Pharoah's Dance" on Miles' 1970 classic, Bitches Brew--it's clear that Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal is mining turf similar to early records like What Comes After (ECM, 1974). He even emulates producer Teo Macero's editing innovations by returning to the theme two-thirds of the way through the track. Rypdal does it so accurately that it feels like an edit, though this clearly is a live performance, in contrast to Miles' pastiche-like ...



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