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...

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

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "UpRoot" CD/LP/Track Review UpRoot
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2017
Read "Possessed" CD/LP/Track Review Possessed
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Delirios Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Delirios Vol. 1
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: July 26, 2018
Read "Northern Migrations" CD/LP/Track Review Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "On The Path" CD/LP/Track Review On The Path
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 2, 2018
Read "Song From No Man's Land" CD/LP/Track Review Song From No Man's Land
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 17, 2018