Keeping in line with modern music’s omnipresent renaissance spirit, Norwegian composer/keyboardist Nils Henrik Asheim renders sixteen freely improvised pieces on a church organ. Beautifully recorded at "Oslo Cathedral," the classically trained artist transforms the sonorous qualities of a pipe organ into a series of loosely based motifs. Some might consider such an endeavor as being impractical or eccentric, yet lo and behold, Asheim pulls it off without any hitches or distorted viewpoints. He excels when exploring the inherent sonic characteristics of the organ, while also utilizing latitude to great effect. The artist melds gothic overtones, with free jazz like single note runs across the keyboard. Moreover, he melds more than a few inconspicuous surprises with sinuous passages and daintily constructed choruses. Essentially, Asheim’s brainchild contains trancelike aspects, yet this is not to suggest that his thematic inventions tend to be diminutive or superfluous. His game plan consists of lucid imagery in concert with abstract tendencies that offers a disparate glimpse of the temporal possessions of the church. Recommended...
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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