Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
251

Anders Jormin: Xieyi

By

Sign in to view read count Views
Anders Jormin: Xieyi I first listened to Xieyi hard on the heels of a Grant Green Blue Note record from the early '60s. In some respects those two discs could act as markers for the vast range of music that we call "jazz" today. Where Green's music is fast-moving, blues-drenched, and driven by infectious grooves, Anders Jormin's describes small movements in a still world.

Jormin is best known for his translucent bass playing with Bobo Stenson, Tomas Stanko, and Charles Lloyd. His previous release on ECM, In Winds, In Light (with Marilyn Crispell, Lene Willemark, Karin Nelson, and Raymond Strid), was one of the most arresting releases of 2004, fusing the world of jazz improvisation with contemporary classical, church, and Nordic folk music.

Xieyi, recorded two years before In Winds, In Light, is to all intent a solo bass album. However, the music is framed by six short brass chorales that break up the disc. Sonorous and solemn, these beautiful pieces evoke thoughts of 16th Century Venetian brass music as well as the obvious parallels to ECM discs by John Surman and Kenny Wheeler.

Jormin describes his aim on the solo pieces as being to sing songs on the bass that are of significance to him. Those songs range from church hymns through Sibelius and Ornette Coleman to personal compositions and improvisations. Solo bass recordings are rare, and they run the risk of sounding one-dimensional. On Xieyi, as a result of the breadth of source material and the care taken to vary the nature of each track, Jormin has succeeded in producing a disc that holds the listener's attention throughout.

On the hymn "Giv Mig ej Glans" Jormin brings out the warmth of its essentially folk-like melody, much as Charlie Haden did with his Spanish Civil War songs. "Gracias a la Vida," with its arco technique, has quite different textures. Not for the first time on the CD, this listener is reminded of the Bach cello suites. "Och Kanske är det Natt" is a rumination on a beautiful tune by Stefan Forssen that had me wracking my brain as to where I'd heard it before. On "Tenk" Jormin uses his bass as a percussion instrument, drawing on his world music interests. The tender "Fragancia" has a gentle South American lilt. With "War Orphans," previously recorded under Bobo Stenson's leadership, bowed bass provides an intense concluding solo piece before the final brass chorale.

It has become a habit of mine, on a winter morning when the ground and trees are heavily frosted, to play Paul Bley's classic Open, to Love. Xieyi has a similar beauty, and I can see it joining the Bley in that annual ritual. In many ways the disc exemplifies what some critics dislike about ECM—but I would wholeheartedly recommend it to listeners won over to the stiller, reflective side of that wide-ranging label.


Track Listing: Choral; Giv Mig ej Glans; I Denna Ijuva Sommartid; Gracias a la Vida; Idas Sommervisa; Xieyi; Decimas; Och Kanske r det Natt; Sul Tasto; Tenk; Sonett till Cornelis; Romance-Distance; Scents; Fragrancia; Q; War Orphans; Choral.

Personnel: Anders Jormin: double-bass; Brass Quartet (1,6,9,12,15,17): Robin Rydqvist: trumpet, flugelhorn; Krister Petersson: French horn; Lars-Gran Carlsson: trombone; Niclas Rydh: bass trombone.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Anders Jormin / Lena Willemark / Karin Nakagawa: Trees of Light
Anders Jormin / Lena...
ECM Records
2015
buy
Between Always And Never
Between Always And...
Swedish Society
2013
buy
Ad Lucem
Ad Lucem
ECM Records
2012
buy
Aviaja
Aviaja
Footprint Records
2006
buy
[no cover]
Aviaja
Dragon Records
2005
buy
Xieyi
Xieyi
ECM Records
2005
buy
Jan Garbarek Jan Garbarek
sax, tenor
Kenny Wheeler Kenny Wheeler
trumpet
Paul Motian Paul Motian
drums
Paul Bley Paul Bley
piano
Bobo Stenson Bobo Stenson
piano
John Surman John Surman
saxophone
Mathias Eick Mathias Eick
trumpet
Arild Andersen Arild Andersen
bass, acoustic

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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