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Terje Rypdal - Waves CD (album) cover

WAVES

Terje Rypdal

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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js (Easy Money)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Although all the tracks on this album tend to pull from the same sources, each song sounds unique. As usual Rypdal is heavily influenced by free jazz fusion such as early Weather Report and Tony Williams, as well as psychedelic rockers such as Hillage, Gilmour, Hendrix and the mid-70s version of Miles band.

The song Per Ulv opens with a proto-ambient techno drum machine pattern, then adds real drums and alternates between typical Rypdal sustained minor key melodies and late 70s Weather Report style fusion-bop swing. The next song Karusell is very spacious and ambient and features a slow trumpet melody backed by Rypdal's always unique neo-classical chord changes. Unfortunately this song doesn't sustaim momentum and gets a bit dull after a while. This sort of slow "moment form" jazz sounded a lot fresher in the 70s.

Stenskoven is a bizarre bit of three time rock cabaret that is a cross between later Doors and Nina Rota, but it is played with a triple track guitar plus synth sound reminiscent of Queen at their bombastic worst, especially when the barroom piano is added at the end. It is definitley a fun song in a sarcastic sort of way. Next comes Waves, the sort of song you expect from Terje, a beautiful sustained guitar melody backed by simple held chords on the polysynth.

The Dain Curse sounds starts off like a direct tribute to early Weather Report with some very funky melodic bass lines ala Alphonso Johnson. As the jam picks up steam they sound a lot like some of Miles' more rocking moments with Terje supplying the McLaughlin style guitar and Palle the screaming trumpet counterpoint. The song closes with more or Rypdal's melancholy melodies played by Palle on the trumpet over a funky free-jazz rhythm.

The album closes with Charisma which sounds a lot like the spaced out mellow moments on Miles' Agharta album. Terje pays tribute to the amazing guitar duo on that album by playing the well spaced rhythmic licks of Reggie Lucas as well as the searing solo style of Pete Cosey, Palle adds the melancholy trumpet answers to the bluesy guitar solo.

If you like 70s psychedelic jazz with some European space-rock influence, this is the one.

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Send comments to js (Easy Money) (BETA) | Report this review (#155686)
Posted Sunday, December 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Guitar, drums, trumpet and bass are the most prominant instruments on this 1978 release. There's quite a bit of meandering and atmosphere on this album.Terje wrote all the tracks except "Stenskoven" which was written by the trumpet player.

"Per Ulv" opens with percussion as mournful sounding guitar sounds come in around a minute. The trumpet takes over for the guitar 2 1/2 minutes in and they continue to "trade up" while percussion continues throughout. "Karussell" opens with some lazy trumpet and there's not a lot going on here with lots of atmosphere as other sounds come and go. We start to get a laid back trumpet-led melody later. "Stenskoven" opens with guitar then piano takes over after 1 1/2 minutes. Trumpet before 2 1/2 minutes. Piano is back later.

"Waves" opens with guitar sounds enveloped with lots of atmosphere. Light drums and cymbals join in. Trumpet before 3 minutes. It settles right down 4 1/2 minutes in to the end. "The Dain Curse" is kind of funky early with bass, guitar and light drums leading the way. Trumpet before 2 minutes. Great sound after 3 1/2 minutes,there's so much going on, quite intense. It settles back with the trumpet playing a relaxed melody. "Charisma" is my second favourite. It opens with atmosphere galore and then the guitar comes in first only to be taken over by trumpet. They continue to trade off.

Good album but a little difficult for me to really get into.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#214887)
Posted Monday, May 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Almost classic Terje Rypdal early album, influenced by jazz (from bop till free-jazz), soundtrack music, some exotic rhythms and some rock elements. With usual very atmospheric down tempo clear sound and some cool Nordic vibrations in space all around.

Terje plays with more or less his regular team, including great trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg, whose participation on this album is very important. For late 70-s, this album contains some innovative technologies in jazz, combining very light drum machine rhythms with live drummer's work on some African rhythm structures. Another interesting thing - Mikkelborg's trumpet soloing. Being one of greatest names in Norways's trumpet school, and for years connected with German ECM label at the same time, it is not strange how his trumpet sounds on this recordings.

Very aerial, dreamy, cool - as from Nordic saga, but at the same time with light, but always presented Miles Davis legacy in sound. And - there I can clearly hear the roots of another generation's great Norwegian trumpeter - Nils Petter Molvaer, one of the greatest name in progressive nu.jazz.

Possibly one of most jazziest Terje album, it is one of his greatest works ever as well. With slight doze of melodic neo-classic ( or soundtracks sound from 60-s) sound, it stays very accessible, but complex and multilayered listening at the same time. Very recommended!

Really 4,5!

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#279552)
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of old 'Terje's' jazzier releases. I still find it one of his best, if not 'the' best in the 6 albums I've heard by this talented Norwegian guitarist. It's all quite 'Weather Report' with that fret-less bass sound, but has a more European feel throughout.

The opener 'Per Ulv' has a great sense of production, where all instruments are heard very clearly. This is more than likely because he was on the classy 'ECM' label who barely put a foot wrong in engineering and recording techniques. Moments of amusement follow with a British 1970's quiz show theme with hilarious trumpets, it somehow remains cool, even in 2015. Still - it reminds me of 'Sale of the Century' and the early 'Blankety Blank' TV shows.

There's a nice feeling of relaxation which runs through this whole album. It's all very laid back and easy to take in one listen. Pleasant stuff indeed. Throughout 'Waves' Rypdal slowly plucks at electric guitar strings that are hugely reverbed and drawn out and sound far more modern than the year 1978 would suggest. 'Waves' makes good late night listening with lots of floating synths and sprinklings of soft percussion.

I'm sure I can subconsciously hear some good old ring modulators at play on some tracks which is always a good thing, especially on an unobtrusive jazz album.

Like all the recordings I've heard by Rypdal, this also is entirely instrumental and is no worse off for it. Vocals would only detract from the prettiness at play on this more than worthy album of Jazz Fusion. A sleepy drowse-fest.

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Send comments to Dobermensch (BETA) | Report this review (#1403037)
Posted Thursday, April 23, 2015 | Review Permalink

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