Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

350

Eivind Aarset & The Sonic Codex Orchestra: Live Extracts

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
For his fifth album as a leader, Norwegian guitar phenom Eivind Aarset captures the improvisational power and prowess of his expanded Sonic Codex Orchestra. Live Extracts, culled from six different venues over the course of the past year. With minimal editing and no overdubs, this is as close to experiencing Aarset in performance as many will get, and for that reason alone is worthy of attention.

Aarset, interviewed recently at All About Jazz, may be more Guitar Anti-Hero than the chops-laden six-stringers who largely populate the upper echelon, but it's not that he doesn't have them; he just chooses not to use them. His channeling of Terje Rypdal through Allan Holdsworth on early albums like Electronique Noire, his 1998 Jazzland debut, remain subsumed somewhere amidst the electronic wizardry and his ability to take the simplest sound—like tapping the body of his guitar gently with the palm of his hand—and turn it into something musical. But with an increasing focus on the cinematic power of his writing and the use of a broad array of devices to create expansive sonic landscapes, Aarset's selfless approach to playing simply couldn't be accomplished by someone without a profound knowledge of his instrument.

Here, however, there's greater emphasis on his compositions' improvisational possibilities, with a group featuring two drummers, a second guitarist who doubles on pedal steel, a trumpeter/synth player, and a bassist. Larger settings often diminish the ability for focused collective improvisation, but when the emphasis is on sound, groove, and texture, the potential actually opens up further. The chords and simple melody of "Electromagnetic," in other hands, could become tedious; but over the course of ten minutes (twelve, if you include the spontaneous, ambient-textured intro, "Electromoers"), Aarset and his group move from a whisper to a roar, with shades of 1970s-era electric Miles Davis peeking through in Gunnar Halle's spare but rich melody lines.

The majority of Live Extracts's material is culled from Sonic Codex (Jazzland, 2007) and Connected (Jazzland, 2004), but live Aarset eschews structural weight, even as the music feels as though its inevitable evolution is preconceived. "Still Changing" moves from an ethereal opening, where Aarset and bassist Auden Erlien weave a delicate yet rhythmic web beneath Halle and guest saxophonist Håkon Kornstad, to a thundering theme that could be the soundtrack to a Quentin Tarantino film. The minor-keyed melody and Aarset's Ebowed guitar (sounding like a double-reeded ney) lend "Drøbek Saray" a Middle Eastern tinge, but Aarset's piercing guitar and controlled feedback ultimately build to an almost unimaginable fever pitch, all without the excess of "guitar god" posturing.

Live Extracts, beyond the performance itself, is most remarkable in that it feels as though it's from a single performance, despite two tracks actually being the seamless merging of two separate performances. Aarset the producer is as meticulous and well thought-out as Aarset the player, and the resonant, rarified yet powerful Live Extracts acts as both consolidation and overdue document of this increasingly significant artist's persistent evolution.

Track Listing: Electromoers; Electromagnetic; Still Changing; Drøbek Saray; Murky Seven; Sign of Seven; Blå Meis.

Personnel: Eivind Aarset: guitar, electronics; Gunnar Halle: trumpet and synth (1-3, 5, 6); Bjorn Charles Deyer: guitar and pedal steel; Audun Erlien: bass; Wetle Holte: drums, electronics, percussion; Erland Daheln: drums and percussion (1, 2, 5-7); Håkon Kornstad: saxophone (3, 7); Torstein Lofthus: drums (3).

Title: Live Extracts | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Jazzland Recordings

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Electromagnetic

Electromagnetic

Eivind Aarset
Live Extracts

Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Dream Logic

ECM Records
2013

buy
 

Tribute

Point of Departure, WMPG-FM
2012

buy
Dream Logic

Dream Logic

ECM Records
2012

buy
Live Extracts

Live Extracts

Jazzland Recordings
2010

buy
 

Hamada

Sula Records
2009

buy
 

Sonic Codex

Jazzland Recordings
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read We Two CD/LP/Track Review
We Two
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Angel Band: Free Country Vol. 3 CD/LP/Track Review
Angel Band: Free Country Vol. 3
by Peter Hoetjes
Published: December 9, 2018
Read The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965-1969 (Vinyl box set) CD/LP/Track Review
The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965-1969 (Vinyl box set)
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 9, 2018
Read The End of the Universe CD/LP/Track Review
The End of the Universe
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Little Big CD/LP/Track Review
Little Big
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 8, 2018
Read "Humanities" CD/LP/Track Review Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Wes Montgomery In Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Wes Montgomery In Paris
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: January 24, 2018
Read "Postcard Collection" CD/LP/Track Review Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read "New Angel" CD/LP/Track Review New Angel
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 3, 2018
Read "Ectotrophia" CD/LP/Track Review Ectotrophia
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 5, 2018
Read "There Is A Place" CD/LP/Track Review There Is A Place
by Chris May
Published: November 1, 2018