Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

5

Stein Urheim: Stein Urheim

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Norwegian, Bergen-based guitarist Stein Urheim, known for his duo with vocalist Mari Kvien Brunvoll and his own drone band The Last Hurrah, released an impressive, limited edition album two years ago, Kosmolodi (Hubro Music, 2012), where he began to explore his breadth of musical vocabulary on guitars and other acoustic stringed instruments. Urheim melts organically exotic elements of blues and jazz, West-African, Middle-Eastern, Indian, and East-Asian traditional legacies with Nordic folk music and even compositional ideas of seminal American composers as Lou Harrison and Steve Reich into a cohesive, effective entity. At times he sounds as if updating and improving the innovative and like-minded, new-world music that guitarists Henry Kaiser and David Lindley created in their journeys to Madagascar, Norway in the early nineties and recently in Antarctica.

The recording of the self-titled album took place at Villa Lysøen, the magnificent home of the legendary Norwegian violinist Ole Bull (1810-1880), outside of Bergen in January 2013. The old wooden house, ice-cold at that time of year, had a fantastic atmosphere, and warm acoustics beautifully captured by sound engineer Audun Strype. The original recording was later edited in the studio by technician and producer Jørgen Træen, who added subtle synthesizer overdubs.

The five, nuanced textures suggest exotic cinematic stories, all rooted in the blues and all are built from delicate layers of inventive playing techniques of the stringed instruments. "Kosmoloda" is framed in a simple blues scale but colors it with subtle East-Asian drone and touches of electric, atmospheric ambiance. On "After The Festival" Urheim enhances his cosmopolitan vocabulary and offers a sensual and playful piece that touches and goes simultaneously on passionate flamenco, lush Caribbean dance, melancholic country music, contemporary music for the guitar, and experimental studio effects without losing its focus and natural flow. "Watch The View" extends gently and patiently the blues theme with impressive slide work, slowly mutating its theme into an enigmatic Indian raga scale. "Beijing Blues" continues the journey farther East, transforming the blues into a majestic ceremonial piece.

The last piece, the aptly-titled, "Great Distances," emphasizes again and again, that despite all the lengthy distances, different, and even conflictual, cultural legacies and varied musical techniques, it is still music after all. Music with its common, basic ingredients that tells a deep, emotional story about us humans, wherever we are. And all of us can nourish and heal from listening to the true essence of the blues.

Track Listing: Kosmoloda; After The Festival; Watch The View; Beijing Blues; Great Distances.

Personnel: Stein Urheim: guitars, flutes, harmonica, slide tamboura, fretless bouzouki, gu qin, mandolin, langeleik, charango, banjo, analog synths and effects. Jørgen Træen: modular synth and effects.

Title: Stein Urheim | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Hubro Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Live At Jazz Room Cortez" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Jazz Room Cortez
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "Hand In Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Hand In Hand
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Wanderlust" CD/LP/Track Review Wanderlust
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Here on Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Here on Earth
by Doug Collette
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Smoke" CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!