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Terje Rypdal - Skywards CD (album) cover

SKYWARDS

Terje Rypdal

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.29 | 17 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars "Skywards started as a project to celebrate ECM and the work Manfred Eicher and I have done together over 25 years", says the Norwegian guitarist and composer Terje Rypdal in the liner notes. He's accompanied by trumpetist Palle Mikkelborg, pianist Christian Eggen, violinist Terje Toennesen, cellist David Darling and two drummers.

The 4-minute opening title track is IMHO an obvious highlight (it is indeed "in the 'Per Ulv' melodic tradition", as Rypdal states -- 'The Return of Per Ulv' on his previous album If Mountains Could Sing, 1995, is fantastic) but after that the album somewhat loses focus and wanders a bit too shapelessly in its introspective soundscapes. Especially the next, 7+ minute track 'In the Wilderness', which -- like several other pieces on Skywards -- is based on Rypdal's earlier composition.

'It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings' is a tender piece with violin, cello and piano paving way for Rypdal's very distinctive electric guitar sound. This and the next one have some similarity to the impressionistic album The Sea, which was perhaps primarily pianist Ketil Björnstad's project but featured partly the same musicians as this album. The emotional impact however remains smaller here.

'Out of This World (Sinfonietta)' drags for roughly 16 minutes and concentrates on the spatial textures without a solid structure or clear melodies. A disappointing one, honestly, despite some nice trumpet on the last third. A nocturnal trumpet ang clanging of metal percussion are actually all there is on the slow and meditative-but-creepy 'Shining'. Sorry, again quite boring and pretentious artsy- fartsy stuff. 'Remember to Remember' is also a slow and meditative piece, but its flowing violin melodies are among the most pleasant details on this album, which I certainly wouldn't recommend as a starting point into Terje Rypdal's art. If you generally enjoy also the less melodic, calm and texture-centred European chamber jazz in the ECM label, give it a try.

Matti | 3/5 |

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