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Terje Rypdal - The Singles Collection CD (album) cover


Terje Rypdal

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars The Singles Collection is a bit of joke. Unless, I'm very much mistaken, Terje Rypdal has never had any singles. True the tracks are shorter in length than the typical TR track. I do think the material offered here is his most "accessible" material, both in terms of a typical progressive fan and even a wider audience in general. It may have a bit too much of that '80's sound, which will probably put off fans of his earlier stuff. Not me, I picked it up around the time of it's release in 1988, having already been a fan of TR and really liked it. It's really nice blend of many of his influences, a bit of a departure from his previous material, but still distinctively Terje Rypdal.

Even though this is listed as a Terje Rypdal release, he actually had formed a guitar, bass, and drum trio in 1984 called The Chasers which had toured some before the keyboardist was added in 1987.

A quote from the liner notes (a very long essay) by Steve Lake: "The band premiered some of the material that would make up The Singles Collection at the Molde Jazz Festival, Terje's dissatisfaction with the state of contemporary jazz . giving the performance a confrontation air. By now the rock reference was unequivocal. Jazz people could take it or leave it. The Chasers were burning it up, having a ball, trying to cram Rypdal's bizarre chain of influence into vigorous little tunes alternately streamlined and swollen with ideas."

Unfortunately as I write this, the CD is out of print. There is an LP version apparently released just this year, so I'm hoping there will be a CD re-release in the near future and maybe those of you interested in this one will get lucky.

Report this review (#155418)
Posted Friday, December 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This uncanny record is very hard to classify. There are jazz, fusion, hard rock and even new age influences. There are many really interesting modern keyboards parts, sometimes floating, sometimes enhancing the rhythm, sometimes sounding like discrete brief sounds that give some magic, lively and nostalgic feeling. Rypdal fills the tracks with good and unique unorthodox electric guitar solos full of tremolos. The fretless bass a la Patrick O'Hearn is particularly interesting, especially on the Hot Lady track. The drums contribution is quite good too and is quite loud and present. The songs styles are varied, and they remain pretty experimental, nonetheless original. The alcoholic guitar solos are comparable to Jeff Beck's. The icy keyboards on the ultra melancholic Mystery Man are quite impressive: it is a sad soundtrack-like piece, where one even can feel the drunken ambience through the drowned guitar notes. The keyboards on Strange Behaviour are really strange: they sound like a gross & frosty panpipe.

On side 2, U.N.I. has interesting piano arrangements a la Patrick Moraz, but the main attraction is definitely the electric guitar solo, which is definitely a partial copy of Van Halen's Eruption: at least, Rypdal provides a solid performance. There are some interesting ultra modern futuristic & urban keyboards arrangements on Coyote. Somehow, Somewhere is a mellow track full of ethereal atmospheres. Steady contain some dirty & visceral electric organ parts, a repetitive funky bass a la Weather Report, and Bruford- esque drums. When I mentioned that the first guitarist of progressive band Spaced Out sounds like Terje Rypdal, Crooner Song is the perfect example to illustrate it.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Report this review (#156624)
Posted Wednesday, December 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Terje Rypdal can be an explosive guitar player. Unfortunately, the majority of his albums are on the ECM label, which, after Pat Metheny's huge success, became known for light, almost new age style fusion. And I suspect that the label pressured their artists to fit into that niche. And that's the problem I have with this album. The musicians are all exceptional. There are some very nice guitar and keyboard (especially organ) solos peppering the album. But much of it sounds restrained, too low key.

The compositions are mostly just riffs for the band to jam on. On each track there is a short setup section defining the structure of the song, then either Rypdal or keyboardist Allan Dangerfield takes off with some nice soloing. Only in a few rare sections does actual composition come back to the songs.

I find that Terje Rypdal's guitar can make even the simplest song sound great, so I'll have to rate this three stars.

Report this review (#421578)
Posted Thursday, March 24, 2011 | Review Permalink

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