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Terje Rypdal - Odyssey CD (album) cover


Terje Rypdal


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 38 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Forget about the 'jazz rock' label. For my money, this is one of the proggiest, trippiest and most ecstatic guitar prog CDs ever recorded. As long as you're willing to accept Rypdal's now-rather-outdated-sounding string synthesizer (which only provides occasional backing anyway) you're in for a real treat!

Rypdal and his band generally lay down slow, melancholic grooves, on top of which the organist and the trombone player (as well as the band leader on sax) get to play slow, dreamy solos - but the highlights of this album are Terje's incredibly poignant solos on lead guitar. Whenever you think Rypdal couldn't possibly move you more, his guitar sings out even stronger than before. He truly conquers heights other guitarists cannot reach, and part of the beauty lies in his plangent use of vibrato. In the mid-seventies Rypdal was young, and the ECM label gave him all the freedom he needed to record the sort of music he wanted to play. You can tell he's out there to put his name on the map. Every single note comes from the core of his soul.

Most of ODYSSEY's music is nocturnal and melancholic in style (only those soaring guitar solos take everything to a different level); but "Over Birkerot" is dark, grim, instrumental rock (not unrelated to Larks Tongues-era King Crimson), and the final track (on this CD release) is a superb, sonata-like romance.

ODYSSEY was originally released as a double LP. Unfortunately, the 'final album side' (which contained just one long track) has never been available on CD.

Did you think the Norwegian fjords couldn't sing? Think again! This album is a triumph.

fuxi | 4/5 |


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