-Whenever I seem to be far away-
Terje Rypdal- Electric Guitar
Jon Christensen- Drums, Percussion
Sveinung Hovensj�- 4 & 6-String Bass
Pete Knutsen- Electric Piano , Mellotron
Odd Ulleberg French Horn
Members of Sudfunk Symphony Orchestra/Mladen Gutesha - Conductor on Track 3
Even the starkly beautiful cover photo of this 1974 gem by Norwegian guitarist/composer Terje Rypdal is something of the music contained within.
Shown here are but 2 sides of Rypdal's ever evolving muse. Let's deal with the first two songs. "Silver Bird.." and "The Hunt". Listening to these I can't help but think what it might've been like if Jimi Hendrix hooked up with the rhythm section from Magma (the heavy throbbing fuzz-bass, rippling electric piano and insistent drumming) and got someone from a 70's vintage King Crimson lineup to have themselves a good 'ol time on a mellotron ("just play it reeeeeaaallllll spoooooky man") and for really conveying that lonesome, windswept Norwegian wilderness sound, stir in the stark, melodious French Horn. Does it work, you may ask. Most certainly!!! "Silver Bird--" begins with an unsettling theme with French Horn and the spookiest Mellotron work you ever heard this side of King Crimson or Morte Macabre. From there, the whole band roars in and blurs the line between improvised and written out passages. There are several distinct themes that are cued in and out by Rypdal, in a manner not unlike late 60's to mid 70's Miles Davis or Gil Evans. What a ride!! "The Hunt" is more "written out", relatively speaking, but still has enough little surprises to keep you on the edge of your seat.
And now the title cut. Here, we abruptly shift gears and wind up with the formality of a chamber orchestra in a piece written by Terje, although quite formal in structure, it nevertheless conveys vivid colors and haunting emotions. Throughout it all, Terje Rypdal's guitar work clearly shows the influence of Jimi Hendrix, and filters it through the eyes of modern classical composers and avant-garde jazz and rock sensibilities alike.
Any prog or fusion fan should definitely have this in their library!! Just bundle up real good and be careful climbing those fjords!
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