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Terje Rypdal

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Terje Rypdal Descendre album cover
4.17 | 48 ratings | 5 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Avskjed (5:47)
2. Circles (11:17)
3. Descendre (3:15)
4. Innseiling (8:01)
5. Men Of Mystery (8:28)
6. Speil (8:23)

Total Time 45:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Terje Rypdal / electric guitar, keyboards, flute

- Palle Mikkelborg / trumpet, flugelhorn, keyboards
- Jon Christensen / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Dieter Rehm

LP ECM Records ‎- ECM 1144 (1980, Germany)

CD ECM Records ‎- ECM 1144 (1991, Germany)

Thanks to Slartibartfast for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TERJE RYPDAL Descendre ratings distribution

(48 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (6%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TERJE RYPDAL Descendre reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record contains a mix of floating keyboards and an overdose of free jazz drums parts. Often experimental, there are TONS of drums parts and improvised-like brass sounds. Obviously, Rypdal's very plaintive electric guitar is omnipresent. For those who have no idea about Rypdal's guitar sound, Jeff Beck's one is a valid comparison. Mostly, the keyboards would fit very well on Pat Metheny's Wichita Falls album.The overall tracks are not very catchy.

On side one, the very melancholic "Avskjed" consists in a continuous stream of loudly floating organ, with a solemn trumpet arrangement a la Mark Isham. The rather experimental "Circles" has an interesting contrast between dreamy & atmospheric keyboards and nervous & scattered drums; the wah-wah horns sounds a la Weather Report give a typical jazzy character to this track. The cold echoed piano notes on "Descendre" are slightly scary; the beautiful & mellow wind instrument arrangements are a real surprise!

On side 2, "Innseiling" is full of urban floating keyboards and muted melodic trumpet a la Mark Isham; Rypdal's unique guitar even slightly sounds like Steve Hillage's one. "Men of Mystery" contains an overdose of very scattered drums parts. My favorite track is "Speil": a VERY relaxing piece full of smooth & floating keyboards textures that gradually increase in intensity, and then calm down again. The memorable trumpet parts are, again, Isham-esque. Gentle cymbals strokes make the hypnotic rhythm and Rypdal's insistent & plaintive guitar seems very inspired from Jeff Beck.

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars This album treads some familiar ground for Terje, but that is not to take away from the fact that once again he has served up another excellent blend of relaxed meditative avant-jazz, mellow psychedelic space rock and very original neo-classical third stream compositions. Trying to describe this very unique and original music can be difficult, but try imagining a blend of Miles' more mellow moments with some instrumental Pink Floyd along with Debussy, Steve Hillage, early Weather Report and Tangerine Dream.

Trying to break this album down by song becomes somewhat pointless because the multi-sectional songs on this album tend to blend together to make one long dark and somber, yet sometimes jazzy post- classical tone poem. The structures used in many of these songs are so open and original that it is often hard to tell where one song starts and another one ends. One of Rypdal's strong points is that he is an excellent composer who writes fresh and non-cliche melodies and chord progressions.

Throughout this album Terje's guitar sings like a woodwind instrument and his sound could be compared to Bill Frisell, Jeff Beck, Phil Manzenera, Steve Hillage and/or David Gilmour. Drummer John Christensen often plays in the restless and somewhat purposefully vague style of the African influenced Billy Higgins, but John's playing on here is often very subtle and in the background. Palle's trumpet playing recalls introspective Miles albums such as In a Silent Way, Sketches of Spain and parts of Agharta. Add to all this the dark and moody Richard Wright styled keyboard textures that are provided by both Terje and Palle and you have a great psychedelic-jazz sound that is totally unique.

I'm suprised that Terje doesn't get more attention from the progressive rock crowd, it might have to do with the fact that he is on the ECM label which is known for carrying a lot of overly mellow and bland music. Terje's music is sort of mellow in a dark and edgy kind of way, but never bland.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Possibly, one of unique Terje ability is to mix quite complex elements in his music with easy accessible ones, and as a result full product is easy to listen but with complexities deep under the skin.

This album is one of most free-jazz based his work, with free-form compositions and very free-jazzy drumming. Terje's regular collaborator trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg builds great trumpet aerial figures in musical space, its sometimes reminds Miles Davis softer moments. Keyboards are very important in that mix, and gave some melancholic scent to quite experimental sound.

Terje's guitar is thing in itself, slow, atmospheric, very electric , but not heavy, more soundscapes-maker, than axe. There it sounds more jazzy than often ( in fact very often Terje plays jazzy compositions using quite rock-like guitar sounds).

Cool, clear as Nordic air, music with such a complex, but never aggressive, brew inside is excellent work from Rypdal and his collaborators, one of the best between his albums from 70-s.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Another classic from Terje and we get a trio here with Rypdal adding guitar, flute and keys while Jon Christensen adds drums and Palle Mikkelborg plays trumpet, flugelhorn and keys. Many rate this one quite high with the organ-like atmosphere that creates warmth while Terje's guitar tone is as mournful as ever. The trumpet is a really nice touch as well. This was released in 1980.

"Avskjed" opens with that organ-like sound as we get plenty of atmosphere until the trumpet and drums kick in. Guitar around 4 minutes as the trumpet continues. "Circles" is the longest song at over 11 minutes. The horn comes and goes before the guitar comes to the fore around 2 1/2 minutes as the drums beat randomly and we get organ-like pulses. The guitar is crying out after 6 1/2 minutes. This track seems improvised and it's quite abstract as well.

"Descendre" features that crying guitar with piano, a sparse beat and bells. "Innseiling" has this dark atmosphere as guitar and a horn join in. Lots of atmosphere then we get this change before 4 minutes as it brightens and picks up. Not really into this part though. It calms back down before 6 1/2 minutes as relaxed horns join in along with atmosphere and guitar.

"Man Of Mystery" has these mournful guitar sounds along with busy drum work. Some crazy horns after 5 minutes as drums and atmosphere help out. "Spell" is the closer and my favourite. Beautiful atmospheric pulsing keyboards as the guitar solos over top. Gorgeous stuff as a beat arrives. Trumpet before 2 1/2 minutes. I really like this chilled sound as sharp trumpet blasts come and go.

I would rate several of his studio albums over this one but this is another winner for sure.

Latest members reviews

5 stars None of music lover or prog fans should not to know about TERJE RYPDAL ,although, looking at PA rewiews, it seems he's not that wellknown, what a pity because this incredible musician is a great guitar player ( kind of JEFF BECK ) and a talented and innovative composer.trying to discribe where ... (read more)

Report this review (#303983) | Posted by jean-marie | Thursday, October 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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