505

Trygve Seim / Frode Haltli: Yeraz

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Trygve Seim / Frode Haltli: Yeraz Yeraz is an intimate, deep and beautiful exploration of both instrumental sound and artistic reactions to many different influences. It must be listened to carefully and patiently, not only because it is performed by a duo—saxophonist Trygve Seim and accordionist Frode Haltli—but because their musical choices are, for the most part, very subtle and carefully developed.

It is anyone's guess why the music of mystic G. I. Gurdjieff in particular, and traditional/folk music of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Caucuses in general, have come to the fore. This trend is evidenced by not only Yeraz, but also the recent releases of Melos (ECM, 2008) by pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos and cellist Anja Lechner, and Songs Of An Other (ECM, 2008) by vocalist Savina Yannatou & Primavera en Salonico.

In any case, Seim and Haltli have already demonstrated that their interests lie in how music that is almost pure sound, with its melodic content stripped down to the barest essentials, can create a very deep emotional world. Seim, along with trombonist Oyvind Braekke, bassist Mats Eilertsen and drummer Per Oddvar Johansen, created gossamer music on The Source (ECM, 2006); while Haltli arguably went even further as a leader on Passing Images (ECM, 2007), as well as with his work on Eilertsen's Short Stories (AIM Records, 2007).

With both players saying more with less, the Gurdjieff/Middle Eastern/Caucuses influence dominates the first half of the album. Although their roles are clearly defined—Seim composed most of the material and takes the melodic lead—Haltli is hardly a mere accompanist. His control of the accordion is complete, and his range of sounds and note choices creates an underlying complexity that balances Seim's asceticism. Intensity and tension are created immediately by Haltli's organ-like static pedal underneath the impassioned line of Seim in "Praeludium," which leads to the two Gurdjieff tunes, "Bayaty" and "Duduki."

Introspective sadness is balanced by contemplative joy, as the first half proceeds until Johansen's "MmBall" (which appeared on The Source) is reached. Seemingly built from the simplest of intervals and motives, this tune shines a light and looks forward, pulling out of pessimism and moving towards optimism.

"Fast Jazz" initially sounds random, but eventually can be heard as a highly refracted melody with development. Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" hints at more melody and rhythm without totally committing to them in its sparse structure, and the Tom Waits-inspired "Waits For Waltz" manages to feel like a dance by sheer inference.

Although it demands complete attention, Yeraz is extremely rewarding. Stern but charming, euphonious and dissonant, floating but with strong sinews, Yeraz is a wondrous work of art.

Visit Trygve Seim and Frode Haltli on the web.

Track Listing: Praeludum / Bayaty / Duduki; Airamero; Introduction / Yeraz; L'altras storia; MmBall; Bhavana; Fast Jazz; Redemption Song; Waits for Waltz; Postludum.

Personnel: Trygve Seim: tenor and soprano saxophones; Frode Haltli: accordion.

Title: Yeraz | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Here’s to You..." CD/LP/Track Review Here’s to You...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Because I Love You" CD/LP/Track Review Because I Love You
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "In All My Holy Mountain" CD/LP/Track Review In All My Holy Mountain
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass" CD/LP/Track Review Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties" CD/LP/Track Review The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "Deeper Journey" CD/LP/Track Review Deeper Journey
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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