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Christer Fredriksen: Vit

Mark Sullivan By

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On his first two albums Norwegian guitarist Christer Fredriksen was playing in a contemporary jazz style, albeit one with clear rock influences. Urban Country (Losen, 2011) even included a cover of the Duke Ellington standard "In a Sentimental Mood." Vit finds him creating soundscapes in a single take using a loop pedal and three guitar amps (along with guest performers on two tracks). It's his most spontaneous, personal mode of expression to date—and it has little to do with jazz, or any other specific genre.

His loops typically do not call attention to themselves in an obvious, repetitive way. The opener "Preludium" uses the loops to create a spacious, reverberant texture, which Fredriksen then plays over melodically. It's also the shortest track (at about two and a half minutes), but all of the improvisations are more focused than is typical of a program like this: the longer ones only run a little over six minutes.

"The Day I Lived" spawns a soaring overdriven guitar melody reminiscent of another great Norwegian guitar pioneer, ECM stalwart Terje Rypdal. The chiming guitar sound of "Five Drops of Love" leads into "Go With the Grain," the densest track. It uses subtle percussion samples from Jan Erik Pettersen, as well as keyboards by Kenneth Silden (who also contributes to "Flow"). "Flow" suggests the folksy lyricism of Pat Metheny, while "I Did Nothing" is the noise track, with a short repeating backwards loop and raucous guitar noises on top. "Raindancer" begins with an Americana sound that recalls Bill Frisell, another longtime looper who came out of the jazz guitar tradition—but it builds to a thunderous crescendo.

Vit marks Fredriksen's debut as a striking loop improviser. The imagination and musical variety on display mark him as a player worth watching.

Track Listing: Preludium; The Day I Lived; Five Drops of Love; Go With the Grain; Underwater Birth; Flow; I Did Nothing; Raindancer; Meditation for Tina.

Personnel: Christer Fredriksen: guitar; Kenneth Silden: keyboards (tracks 4 & 6); Jan Erik Pettersen: percussion samples (track 4).

Title: Vit | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Losen Records

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