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Gunhild Seim: Time Jungle (2007)

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Gunhild Seim: Time Jungle How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Norwegian trumpeter/composer Gunhild Seim lives in Stavanger, where many Norwegian musicians who play outside the ECM school—including reed player Frode Gjerstad, trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen, drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and organist Nils Henrik Asheim—developed their musical language for free improvisation. Seim is one of the leaders of the local ensemble, Kitchen Orchestra, and leads her own quartet on this debut recording on her own Drolleholå Music label.

For this recording Seim enlisted New York-based reed player Andrew D'Angelo to produce and play on it. Pianist/composer Marilyn Crispell, who taught at the Banff Centre in Canada where Seim studied composition with Dave Douglas and premiered some of her compositions for large jazz-ensembles, has written brief liner notes. The result is indeed beautiful and impressive, as Crispell notes, and features Seim as a mature composer.

The opening track, "Pathways, is an intense duel between Seim and D'Angelo over a tight, pulsating basis. "Peripheral Guidance" demonstrates Seim's affinity for slow burn compositions as she defines them. A free form duet with Seim and D'Angelo evolves into a funky and breezy melody led by guitarist Allan Vigre, with Seim's solo ultimately bringing the track back to its freely improvised beginning. "Once Upon a Time" begins with a fine solo by bassist John Lilja—an associate of Gjerstad—slowly developing through a series of solos, most notably D'Angelo's screaming bass clarinet solo and Seim's contrasting toned-down feature.

Seim's two duets with D'Angelo present her as an accomplished and inventive player. The first improvised duet shows Seim, as informed by the abstract improvisations of Bill Dixon, while her innocent improvisation over the waltz theme of the second is truly magical.

The slow and contemplative "Imprint Outprint is the only track to feature Seim's Norwegian quartet on its own. Seim's meditative playing gains varied colors and shades as the track develops, and Vigre and Lilja's restrained support reinforces her reserved approach. "After," continues the spacious and meditative tone of "Imprint Outprint, closing the album with everyone pushing the sound envelope.

The only reservation about Time Jungle is its short playing time.

Track Listing: Pathways; Peripheral Guidance; Duet I; Once Upon a Time; Duet II; Imprint Outprint; After.

Personnel: Gunhild Seim: trumpet; Andrew D'Angelo: alto sax, bass clarinet (1-4, 6, 7); Allan Vigre: guitar (2, 4, 6, 7); John Lilja: double bass (1, 2, 4, 6, 7)), Dag Magnus Narvesen: drums (1, 2, 4, 6, 7)

Record Label: Drolleholå Music

Style: Modern Jazz


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