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.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ECM Records


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Impulsive Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Impulsive Illuminations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Live at 5e" CD/LP/Track Review Live at 5e
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "The Space Between" CD/LP/Track Review The Space Between
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Red Rocks 7/8/78" CD/LP/Track Review Red Rocks 7/8/78
by Doug Collette
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "re: dawn (from far)" CD/LP/Track Review re: dawn (from far)
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!