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Ketil Bjornstad: Ketil Bjornstad: Sunrise (A cantata on texts by Edvard Munch)

Read "Ketil Bjornstad: Sunrise (A cantata on texts by Edvard Munch)" reviewed by John Kelman

For a country with such a small population, Norway has much to be proud of when it comes to the arts...and not just music, though it remains a country whose support has certainly resulted in a disproportionate number of creative musicians across the broadest musical spectrum. Looking at the violin and its variants alone, there is the traditional Hardanger fiddle work of Nils Okland, already known to fans of the ECM label for albums including Lysoen: Hommage a Ole Bull ...

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Ketil Bjornstad: La Notte

Read "La Notte" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Recorded live on July 21st 2010 at the Molde International Jazz Festival, Norwegian pianist Ketil Bjørnstad's La Notte is an eight piece suite inspired by the 1961 drama of the same name by the great Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni. It is not, however, a mere Antonioni tribute, but an homage to innovative filmmakers in general and in a way to the art of cinema itself. Opening with haunting strings and Danish percussionist Marilyn Mazur's rumbling beats the first ...

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Ketil Bjornstad: Early Piano Music

Read "Early Piano Music" reviewed by John Kelman

For a label that's been instrumental in reinventing the concept of solo piano performance, it's surprising that ECM has never released a recital from Ketil Bjørnstad. Instead, they've provided a forum for the Norwegian neo-classicist to experiment in contexts ranging from the duos of Life in Leipzig Night Song to the trio of Remembrance, and the expansive sextet on the forthcoming Antonioni Project, recorded in performance at Molde Jazz 2010. But long before he began achieving international prominence with ECM, ...

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Ketil Bjornstad / Svante Henryson: Night Song

Read "Night Song" reviewed by John Kelman

The relative merits of technical aptitude, when it comes to music, are often hotly debated. Surely possessing more comprehensive and masterful control over the vocabulary of music would be a plus; how, then, can a raw, unschooled bluesman like Robert Johnson resonate in ways that more schooled artists sometimes cannot? Proficiency, then, is really only an acquired tool, a means, a vernacular; and while it's true that there are those musicians who struggle and accomplish much, equally, there are those ...

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Ketil Bjornstad: Remembrance

Read "Remembrance" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The disc is called Remembrance, but it could just as well have been tagged “Prayers" or “Hymns," or “The Search for Peace and Tranquility," words that seems a fit with the music of Norwegian pianist Ketil Bjørnstad.Bjørnstad began his sojourn at ECM Records with Water Stories in 1993. In his eight recordings for the label since then, he has played often with string men, including cellist David Darling and guitarist Terje Rypdal, but this time out he enlists ...

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Ketil Bjornstad: Remembrance

Read "Remembrance" reviewed by John Kelman

In a career spanning four decades that only began reaching a wider international audience with the release of his first album for ECM, Water Stories (1993), Norwegian pianist Ketil Bjørnstad has collaborated with many fellow Scandinavians, including guitarists Terje Rypdal and Eivind Aarset, bassist Arild Andersen, drummer Jon Christensen and live sampler Jan Bang. Surprisingly, he has rarely worked with saxophonists, notable exceptions being Bendik Hofseth on 2001's profoundly moving Grace (Emarcy), and Wolfgang Puschnig on the similarly sublime Devotions ...

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Ketil Bjorstad / Terje Rypdal: Life in Leipzig

Read "Life in Leipzig" reviewed by Budd Kopman

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), ...


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