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Album Review

Eple Trio: Universal Cycle

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Eple Trio: Universal Cycle
The fourth album of the Norwegian Eple Trio—pianist Andreas Ulvo, bassist Sigurd Hole and drummer Jonas H. Sjøvaag—marks an exciting new chapter in the trio ten years of work. The album was recorded in a remote studio in the vast forestry scenery of Sweden where evolution, its most extreme and barren forms challenges humanity, where the dimension of time has a different sense, where man adopts, conquers and surrenders to nature, in an endless universal cycle.

Sjøvaag, who wrote the liner notes, designed the cover and composed most of the pieces on this albums, states that our emotions, our perception of our relation to nature, are always an input of of the connection between the body and the mind. This album, he continues, "was made in a time where it felt natural to embrace extroversion as a mode of output. It may not become the norm."

The music of Eple Trio, here augmented with guitarist Ivar Grydeland (on two pieces) and trumpeter Mathias Eick (on another three pieces), reflects its unique conception of time. The beautiful, serene themes expand patiently horizontally, become richer in its colors and shades, but on the same time seek to reach a deeper emotional core, always through organic, unassuming interplay. This approach offers a highly personal, lasting listening experience that is almost beyond conventional time, a timeless one, one that adds new insights with every new listening.

Ulvo's innocent, melodic "One Elephant" emphasizes the manner that this trio transforms the tension building into a dreamy meditative interplay, full of gentle timbral exploration. The addition of the Eick intensifies the introspective, singing tone of the trio, best performed on the melancholic ballad, "In Our Home, Where We Live," but Eick also charges "And Now, Many Days Have Passed" with a dense and dramatic spirit. Grydeland guitar playing on "First Sun," suggests light resonating tones to the melodic soundscapes of Ulvo prepared piano, Hole bowed bass and Sjøvaag percussive texture.

Symbolically, the concluding piece is Sjøvaag's "On a Road That Never Ends," encompasses this excellent trio impressive vision and spirit.

Highly recommended.

Track Listing

Setting Foot On Another Planet; One Elephant; Island Sunrise; In Our Home, Where We Live; First Sun; Tipplers Insomnia; And Now, Many Days Have Passed; Morning Stillness, Crisp Air; On A Road That Never Ends.

Personnel

Andreas Ulvo: piano, Sigurd Hole: bass; Jonas H. Sjøvaag: drums; Ivar Grydeland: guitar (1, 5); Mathias Eick: trumpet (3, 4, 7).

Album information

Title: Universal Cycle | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Shipwreckords


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