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Trygve Seim / Oyvind Braekke / Per Oddvar Johansen: The Source and Different Cikadas

Mark F. Turner By

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One listen to the recording The Source and Different Cikadas will thrust the adventurous jazz enthusiast into an arena of discriminating music. The recording combines the efforts of European artists from the group The Source—featuring saxophonist Trygve Seim, trombonist Øyvind Brække, and Per Oddvar Johansen on drums, with the string ensemble The Cikada Quartet. Popular in the Scandinavian jazz underground, The Source creatively blends various jazz styles with other music art forms to create their own unique style. Influences on their music have included jazz icons Ornette Coleman, Dewey Redman, Don Cherry, and the fusion works of Miles Davis. Add collaborations with area poets, rock groups, classical musicians, opera singers and a multitude of other artists, and one can get a sense of the diversity that this group offers.

The listening effort may be challenging but the reward is satisfying.

The music and musicians on the recording propose a dichotomy of structured themes with formless music. Some selections contain symphonic-like movements with powerful and exquisite string work such as "Organismus Vitalis" and "Funebre." Others incorporate odd rhythms and various tempos such as the upbeat and quirky "Plukk." Underneath every composition lies heavy improvisation. The musicianship and quality of the recording is satisfying and contains a live feel. Every instrumental nuance is precise and experienced audibly from dynamic percussion work to the reed slurs of the saxophone. Individual solos are strong but it's the musicianship and compositions that take the forefront. The delicate use of the accordion is delightful on the happy selection "Obecni Dum" and the pulsating groove "Sen Kjellertango." The string instruments play a vital role in changing the moods of the recording, which are at times extremely intense, or delicate and moving. The jazz element is tight with heavy traces of post-bop and free jazz fortitude on the selections "Fort-Jazz" and "Uten Forbindelse," which is reminiscent of the works by the great Ornette Coleman.

The Source and Different Cikadas is a most interesting snapshot of modern music and conveys an expanding and virtually boundless arena in which the musician and listener will perhaps converge. Recommended.


Track Listing: Organismus Vitalis; Mmball; Funebre (from Lutoslawski's String Quartet (1964)); Deluxe; Bhavana; Saltpastill; Flipper; Plukk; Obecni Dum; Suppressions; Number Eleven; Fort-Jazz; Sen Kjellertango; Uten Forbindelse; Tutti Free.

Title: The Source And Different Cikadas | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: ECM Records

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