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


Terje Rypdal


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 28 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars I'm not sure whether this is Rypdal's second or third ECM album, but it's one of the rockier ones, despite its schizophrenic nature. With its polar cap ice debacle artwork, this album features some of Terje's best musical buddies, and it was recorded in Oslo in 74. On the present, Rypdal concentrates on the guitar (no kb or horns), which allows his compadres to fully develop their roles.

Opening on the energetic 14-mins Silver Bird, Rypdal's guitar takes on an early Coryell-feel, and it grabs the JR/F fans by the guts, as we're hoping for McLaughlin-like fireworks, which somewhat unfortunately won't happen, because the song doesn't allow it. Progheads will be pleased to hear some gorgeous washes of mellotron that add a bit of tension and drama. Excellent stuff, with Hovensjo's bass playing adding much interest to the calmer moments. The following Hunt piece features the same line-up, with a rhythmic intro at first, and then a brooding mellotron underlining Terje's excellent guitar parts. More great stuff.

On the flipside, the sidelong title track features some string musicians from a local symphonic orchestra, and the subtitle indicates well its content: guitar, string, oboe and clarinet. Hovering between Russian composers and symphonico-ambient music (future "new age"), the track meanders too much and too long, before taking off of to the skies. In some ways, this track announces the lengthy voids of his next album Odyssey, with his searing and soaring guitar that will be reminiscent to Steve Hackett fans; but the orchestral arrangements are an asset that the next venture won't have. Fairly cheesy, but impressive nonetheless.

Well despite two vastly different vinyl facets, the A-side is sufficiently strong enough to gather my favours and the symphonic side is impressive enough to let me enter the album in my all- time top 10 ECM releases.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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