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...


Ingrid Hagel: Tharapita

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Tharapita is a delightful recording that ultimately beguiles the listener through its emotional outlook and sheer gorgeous sound.

Ingrid Hagel hails from Estonia and, as she states on her site, "Tharapita" is the name of a thirteenth-century northern Estonian tribal god, which has been incorporated into the culture to "evoke the unity between man and nature." Living now in Copenhagen, Denmark with its hustle and bustle, the music is Hagel's attempt "to recreate the sensations, colours and landscapes of my childhood's country house and its surroundings."

It is quite surprising, therefore, to be presented with music that sounds nothing like what one would (naively) think should come from a northern Baltic country quite near Finland. In fact, the album has a lilt that borders on Brazilian (e.g. fusion or world) and which meshes quite nicely with the summery images that pervade it.

Hagel's childhood musical training was mostly classical violin, but she ultimately decided to study jazz in Denmark, starting with voice and later bringing in the violin. Her vocal and violin sound are both on the dry side, using very little vibrato but with very accurate intonation.

Backing Hagel is the very tight Makiko Hirabayashi Trio (Hirabayashi, piano; Marilyn Mazur, drums and percussion; Klavs Hovman, bass) who are obviously on absolutely the same wavelength. Hirabayashi shadows and comments very closely on Hagel's sung melodies and violin lines, while Mazur and Hovman instantly shift as needed, producing music that breaths and moves, kaleidoscopic colors abounding.

The music has a deceptive simplicity; it feels very wide and translucent, inviting the listener to partake of these re-imaginings of Hagel's Estonian memories, all the while smiling and gently rocking. The album has a cumulative effect as it draws in the listener.

Some listeners might prefer more purely instrumental music like "Midsummer's Eve"; there is no doubt that this band could produce large-scale, intricate tone poem pieces. Others might want music that is more abstract and more intense -there are plenty of sections that get underneath and behind the song -and the last track, "Call of Tharapita" (unfortunately misspelled 'Thatapita' on the liner), gives a hint what could happen if the band wanted to go in the direction of freer improvisation.

Tharapita is a completely honest and refreshing album signalling much interesting music to come from Hagel as she explores and grows. Highly recommended.

Track Listing: Road Of Changing; Third Rock From The Sun; Emerald Eyes; Midsummer's Eve; Love Spell; Country House; New Day; Marjul; Call of Tharapita.

Personnel: Ingrid Hagel: violin, vocals; Makiko Hirabayashi: piano; Marilyn Mazur: drums, percussion; Klavs Hovman: double bass.

Title: Tharapita | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read This City CD/LP/Track Review
This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read West Coast Trio CD/LP/Track Review
West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Sun Embassy CD/LP/Track Review
Sun Embassy
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 24, 2018
Read The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 CD/LP/Track Review
The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "Live at U of T" CD/LP/Track Review Live at U of T
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Rendering" CD/LP/Track Review Rendering
by Mark Christian Miller
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "3Divas" CD/LP/Track Review 3Divas
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "Beethoven – Missa Solemnis" CD/LP/Track Review Beethoven – Missa Solemnis
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Octopus" CD/LP/Track Review Octopus
by Don Phipps
Published: February 28, 2018
Read "Earthshine" CD/LP/Track Review Earthshine
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: January 31, 2018