All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

495

Ulvo Ensemble: The Sound Of Rain Needs No Translation

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Those fortunate people who have listened to Norwegian piano trio Eple Trio would not be surprised by this beautiful debut from pianist Andreas Ulvo. Just as his Eple Trio blurred the artificial distinctions within specific genres, his Ulvo Ensemble follows suit and combines elements from jazz, classical and traditional music in an impressive, organic manner. Ulvo titled this recording based on a saying by English mystic Alan Watts (Watts in turn borrowed the expression from a Japanese Zen Master), meaning that there are many words with which to describe the sound of the rain, but none come closer than the experience itself. The same, according to Ulvo, goes about this recording: there is no literal description that may replace the listening experience given by this gem.

Ulvo, who often performs with his fellow countrymen such as trumpeter Matthias Eick, vocalist Solveig Slettahjell and reed player Karl Seglem, penned the nine pieces, and is joined here by clarinetist Morten Barrikmo Engebretsen and celloist Erlend Habbestad. Ulvo begins with two meditative solo piano pieces, "A Little Sad, A Little Happy" and "Night Songs." The cinematic musical landscapes and nuanced melodic articulation may suggest a conscious influence by the more chamber-like recordings of pianist and composer Ketil Bjornstad.

When Ulvo is joined by Engebretsen and Habbestad he opts for playful and graceful reflections on traditional dance forms with "Two-Step" and "Waltzer," which are both minimalist in their spirit. "Samsara," named after the Buddhist cycle of birth and rebirth, is an arresting, mysterious suite which is still true to the minimalist character of this recording, but stesses a deeper, darker sadness. "All Aspects Of A Dance" relives the melancholic feeling with a delicate vision of imaginary free-form dancing. "Minor Mountain" is another solo piano piece that suggest a dramatic inner conflict, while "East Of West" features the fragile interplay of the trio with its patient style of developing a theme. Ulvo concludes with a solo spontaneous improvised piece, "Leela."

Ulvo is right. This recording has an elusive wabi-sabi quality, of an imperfect, fleeting beauty that no words can portray its simple, innocent essence. But still, it is such a beauty that is so vivid and breathtaking.


Track Listing: A Little Sad, A Little Happy; Night Song; Two-Step; Waltzer; Samsara; All Aspects Of Dance; Minor Mountain; East Of West; Leela.

Personnel: Andreas Ulvo: piano; Morten Barrikmo Engebretsen: clarinets; Erlend Habbestad: cello.

Title: The Sound Of Rain Needs No Translation | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Aim Sound City

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Choral

Choral

Andreas Ulvo
Light And Loneliness

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Softspeaker

Softspeaker

Atterklang
2012

buy
 

Light And Loneliness

Sound Aspects Records
2011

buy
The Sound Of Rain Needs No Translation

The Sound Of Rain...

Aim Sound City
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Locked & Loaded CD/LP/Track Review
Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Long Story Short CD/LP/Track Review
Long Story Short
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Awase CD/LP/Track Review
Awase
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by John Sharpe
Published: May 26, 2018
Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Story Tellers" CD/LP/Track Review Story Tellers
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "FABEL" CD/LP/Track Review FABEL
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "You're Driving Me Crazy" CD/LP/Track Review You're Driving Me Crazy
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Trajetórias" CD/LP/Track Review Trajetórias
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 5, 2018
Read "We're All Gonna Die" CD/LP/Track Review We're All Gonna Die
by Doug Collette
Published: October 1, 2017