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Terje Rypdal - Crime Scene CD (album) cover


Terje Rypdal

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Easy Money
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The first couple of times I listened to this I thought it was a nice piece of modern fusion, but then I noticed this was actually a live concert, whoa!, a live performance this is pretty incredible and I would imagine a real treat for everyone in attendance. The musical theme of this show is crime related jazz soundtracks with a NYC flavor, but not in the same way as John Zorn's Naked City project. Terje Rypdal and his band, plus the Bergen Big Band, paint their own dangerous urban tone colors with mournful ambient minimalist brass drones, insane drawn out rock jams that combine ZZ Top with Captain Beefheart accompanied by spooky horror house Hammond B3, spacey grooves with muted trumpet, and all-out avant-garde jazz sonic assaults. All of this is peppered with very tastefully used samples from classic crime movies featuring voices like the easily recognizable Clint Eastwood.

Its been a long time since I have heard the music of Terje Rypdal and I was expecting more of his beautiful North European flavored cross of fusion, space rock and 20th century composition. You still get a lot of those elements in his music, but what really surprised was his rambling avant-rock jams on jangly distorted slide guitar. These workouts are great and capture a surprisingly rural American wreckless free-for-all destructive mood like a chain reaction of shake-n-bake meth lab explosions in a trailer park in Arkansas. Add to all that some nice trip-hop breaks where drummer Paola Vinnacia manipulates the movie samples into a hysterical noisy climax of yelling, cursing and fighting. Meanwhile, the quiet moments on here that feature orchestrated long tones and held pedal points sound like the eye of the storm before the next musical crime wave hits.

This is a very ambitious work that recalls other large jazz ensemble based pieces by artists like Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, only with Rypdal's Crime Scene you get that crazy aggressive rock element too. A smorgasbord of brilliant musical styles, this album is highly recommended for someone seeking something unique in the world of fusion and a modern continuation of the third stream movement in jazz.

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Posted Friday, November 26, 2010 | Review Permalink

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