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Terje Rypdal - Whenever I Seem To Be Far Away CD (album) cover

WHENEVER I SEEM TO BE FAR AWAY

Terje Rypdal

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.87 | 17 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Long time ECM recording artist Terje Rypdal was heavily influenced by the jazz-fusion scene of the late 60s, and he was a big personal fan of Miles and Hendrix. This is a rather interesting entry in that it combines some of the Mclaughlin flavored fusion in the first half with an orchestral composition in the title track. "Silver Bird Is Heading For The Sun" is the lead off track at 14 minutes. It begins with a creepy French horn over mellotron before the bass and drums kick in. Rypdal's guitar in the early going is heavy and fuzzed out as it plays off the tron and electric piano. More burning lead guitar follows atop a hugely in-your-face bass presence. Fans of everything from Mahavishnu to Fripp to traditional to modern jazz should find something to like on Side 1. The improvisations find some strange dark galaxies-that along with the superb playing keep this long track quite interesting throughout. "The Hunt" features the same instrumentation but the song itself is not as energetic as "Silver Bird." The guitar lays back somewhat during moments where the horn has some cool parts, playing detached melodies over the mellotron, it is unusual to say the least. "Whenever I Seem To Be Far Away" is the epic length title piece at nearly 18 minutes. It features members of the Sudfunk Symphony Orchestra on strings, oboe, and clarinet. This is an amazing track. There is tons of space in the beginning as the violin and woodwind make gentle introductions playing music that imparts unease, insecurity, questioning? Rypdal holds back until the 7 minute mark when he comes in with ominous notes. Soon he is doing almost space-rock improvisations to the classical music which has moved to the background. Tension ebbs and flows. The ending mirrors the beginning with strings and woodwinds but the mood seems a bit more reassuring somehow perhaps from what we've learned during the journey. Terje sneaks in a last bit of guitar at the tail end to bring a nice close. Some will find the title track too boring I predict but those who enjoy long meandering explorations will be thrilled with it. Not quite a masterpiece in my book but a very unique and enjoyable experience for eclectic fusion fans. Ambitious, thought provoking instrumental music that is never obvious and occasionally really breathtaking.
Finnforest | 4/5 |

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