9

Ingrid Hagel: Tharapita

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Ingrid Hagel: Tharapita 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


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's" CD/LP/Track Review Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "A Kenton Celebration" CD/LP/Track Review A Kenton Celebration
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Milestones" CD/LP/Track Review Milestones
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Beguiled" CD/LP/Track Review Beguiled
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Everyone Is Everyone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Everyone Is Everyone Else
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Telepathy & Bop" CD/LP/Track Review Telepathy & Bop
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 5, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.