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Nordic Quartet [Original recording reissued]

John Surman Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 14.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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John Surman’s solo albums occupy a special and important place in his discography. “Saltash Bells” is the first since 1994’s “A Biography of the Rev. Absalom Dawe”, and it joins a line of distinguished recordings that begins with “Westering Home” (Island, 1972) and continues with the ECM albums “Upon Reflection” (1979), ... Read more in Amazon's John Surman Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Dec 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B00000AXJ5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,666 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Traces
2. Unwritten Letter
3. Offshore Piper
4. Gone To The Dogs
5. Double Tripper
6. Ved Sorevatn - Terje Rypdal
7. Watching Shadows
8. The Illusion - Terje Rypdal
9. Wild Bird

Product Description

Recording in Oslo, multi-reedsman John Surman renews his acquaintance with recurring Norwegian partners Karin Krog (vocals) and Terje Rypdal (guitar), the line-up completed by pianist Vigleik Storaas. Whilst the bulk of this album investigates rarefied atmospheric heights, its chief moments of surprise arrive during several unexpectedly visceral episodes. These come courtesy of Rypdal's electrics, the opening "Traces" providing the best example. His scalding guitar sweeps up, then cuts away, turning into a reverberant background wash as it exposes Krog's meandering, dreamy voice. Then, the piano enters cautiously, followed by Surman's sonorous bass clarinet, this horn retained for the "Unwritten Letter" duo with Krog. "Gone To The Dogs" features capering soprano saxophone over Rypdal's strumming and Storaas's jabbing keys. "Double Tripper" has the baritone acting as foghorn, Terje's strings emitting phased groans, distorted and chipped. The album's remainder stretches back, relaxing on the floes, the instruments not quite sounding like themselves during "Ved Sorevatn", its chimes, pulses and ethereal wafts probably coming from Surman's uncredited synthesisers. Soprano and piano are left alone to produce the chandelier fragility of "The Illusion", with two numbers which adopt "conventional" song form saved until the end, Krog's text imposing a linear progression on "Watching Shadows" and "Wild Bird". --Martin Longley

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Bleak, Stark and Desolate but Compelling ! 4 Mar 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I found this album(recorded in Oslo in 1994) to be a mixed bag .It certainly is not without it's faults but there are also elements of ,dare I say it ,genius to be found herein .

All four musicians are obviously very accomplished;I believe that three are Norwegian with John Surman being English.Surman plays Saxophones and Clarinets and contributes his writing talents on six of the nine songs .Terji Rypdal is the guitarist (who contributes to the writing of three songs),Vigleik Storaas plays piano and he wrote/co-wrote two of the songs whilst Karin Krog is the vocalist and co-writer of four of the compositions.

Let me get the negatives off my chest first ! Too often the playing of Surman and ,to a slightly lesser degree, Rypdal appear to be too loud within the mix at inappropriate moments.This is illustrated from the beginning of the opening track 'Traces 'where Karin Korg's spoken intro is swamped by the guitar work of Rypdal.Another observation throughout the album is that it isn't particularly melodic in general(there I have said it !). But this may not be a criticism as such, as the music may appeal to other listeners who will appreciate work that puts an emphasis on other aspects such as sonic textures and experimental improvisation etc.

There are several instrumentals here and one that showcases the skilful and innovative electric guitar playing of Rypdal is 'Gone to the Dogs'. I think that Jeff Beck may have been influenced by Rypdal's playing .I can hear similarities to Terji Rypdal's sound and playing style on parts of Beck's 1999 album'Who Else?'and also to material (EG 'Suspension')from Jeff's 2001 album 'You Had It Coming'.

My favourite songs on the album are 'Watching Shadows' and 'Wild Bird'.
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