All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

296

Frode Haltli: Passing Images

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Frode Haltli does not play accordion, but rather makes music with an instrument that we call an accordion. Using carefully chosen musicians, Haltli has created, with Passing Images, a highly intense, very concentrated work that is both disconcerting and beautiful—something to be slowly savored and pondered.

Its fifty-one minutes are full of surprises and shocks. There is little overt musical movement and yet, despite much silence, the listener is pulled ever forward. The overall volume is low and total attention is required, but it will be rewarded with an ever-changing kaleidoscope of seeming impossible sounds from the group.

As ECM approaches the forty year mark, the relationships between its coterie of musicians is almost as much a part of the experience as the music itself. Halti has a duo project with Trygve Seim, trumpeter Arve Henriksen has performed on recordings by Seim, Christian Wallumrod and Jon Balke, vocalist and composer Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje worked with and contributed to Haltli's previous ECM recording, Looking On Darkness (ECM, 2002), while violist Garth Knox has been active on the classical side of ECM.

The flexibility and sensitivity of these musicians is crucial to Haltli's musical vision, which sits at the nexus of Scandinavian folk music, improvisation and classical composition and gestures. Full of silence, tension and drama, the music of Passing Images also has much overt beauty.

Each musician gets a myriad of sounds from his or her instrument. Haltli uses the full range of the accordion, plays clusters and intertwining lines, pure accompaniment and even somehow bends notes. Henriksen's trumpet rarely sounds as expected, having no brassy edge and bringing in flute-like sonorities, plus non-musical sounds such as sucking and tapping. Kjelstrup Ratke mostly vocalizes without words, becoming another instrument in the mix, but also makes vocal sounds, while Knox's playing runs the gamut from pure melody with varying amounts of vibrato, to harmonics, quarter tones and other sounds.

As each piece progresses, the grouping and range of the instruments constantly changes as the arrangements create a whole universe of sounds. Thus, the music is continually mutating, providing a means for the listener to be carried forward, substituting in a way for the lack of a strong pulse.

If there is a core to the album, it is the tracks "Pre," "Lyrisk vals" and "Passing Images." Haltli writes that they are basically from the same source, a recording by fiddler Gustav Katerud (1882-1941). The first two pieces are based on a tune he played, while the third, by Kjelstrup Ratke (arranged by Haltli) is influenced by the second.

The music is disconcerting because it is so dissonant, intense and highly emotional, while flashes of overt beauty that appear unexpectedly. The listener is kept constantly off balance, with little to hang on to while the music, made of the most gossamer of materials, steadily accumulates its impact.

Passing Images is fabulous and unforgettable.

Track Listing: Psalm; Inter; The Letter; Lude; Vandring; Pre; Jag haver ingen k?rare; Lyrisk vals; Passing Images; Vals.

Personnel: Frode Haltli: accordion; Arve Henriksen: trumpet; Garth Knox: viola; Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje: voice.

Title: Passing Images | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Yeraz

Yeraz

ECM Records
2008

buy
Passing Images

Passing Images

ECM Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Decay Of The Angel CD/LP/Track Review
Decay Of The Angel
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica CD/LP/Track Review
Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Sorrows & Triumphs CD/LP/Track Review
Sorrows & Triumphs
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Od Ponedelnik CD/LP/Track Review
Od Ponedelnik
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Coast to Crossroads CD/LP/Track Review
Coast to Crossroads
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 13, 2018
Read Body CD/LP/Track Review
Body
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "Don't Blink" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Blink
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 5, 2017
Read "Witchy Feelin'" CD/LP/Track Review Witchy Feelin'
by Doug Collette
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "A Thing Called Joe" CD/LP/Track Review A Thing Called Joe
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Tipping My Hat To Leonard" CD/LP/Track Review Tipping My Hat To Leonard
by Paul Naser
Published: July 3, 2018
Read "Cosmic Language" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Language
by Chris May
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "Tempe Jetz" CD/LP/Track Review Tempe Jetz
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 11, 2017