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Lalle Larsson - Until Never CD (album) cover


Lalle Larsson


Eclectic Prog

3.70 | 9 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Best known for his musical association with Flower Kings-related projects such as Karmakanic and the Agents of Mercy, keyboard player Lalle Larsson has also delivered a string of wonderful solo instrumental works, especially worthwhile is his trio of recordings from between 2009-2012 under the `Weaveworld' project name. However, 2014 sees the artist diverting from the lounge-jazz/fusion found on those works for something more stripped back in the form of `Until Never', an album based around solo piano pieces, but with several of them complimented by regular Larsson cohort and Flower King Jonas Reingold on fretless bass and Dutch jazz fusion guitarist (and fellow Weaveworld musician) Richard Hallebeek on acoustic guitar.

The stark black and white cover photo may suggest plenty of gloom, but it's more a reflection of atmosphere, oddly beautiful and every so slightly unsettling. Lalle's piano is always the lead instrument, the composer offering delicate, moving and darkly romantic themes, with little traces of melancholy and introspection. But several of the highlights are when he's accompanied by the above mentioned other two musicians, and although they're used sparingly on just a few pieces, Jonas' bass ruminations are instantly recognizable, with Richard's guitar always restrained and tasteful.

There's plenty of light and shade during album opener `Leaving Paris', the three musicians gliding back and forth between stirring positive themes and uneasy moodiness, and especially listen out for the oddly bleak final guitar strum in the dying seconds. The eight minute `September Suite' shows all three players working in perfect unison, complimenting and respecting each-other as they skilfully weave through reflective moods, suddenly melancholic subtle diversions and excited classical prettiness full of life and love. `Before Sunrise' subtly introduces shimmering electric piano, with Lalle allowing his musical companions to take the lead. Jonas' joyful bass soloing is full of promise here, Richard's acoustic guitar brings hope.

There's a positive and content stride to `The Solitary Traveller', `Last Call' is near ambient, and one or two moments of `A Gentle Touch' even implement some subtle droning electronic washes behind thoughtful piano that's equally uplifting as it is sweetly sad. `Above The Clouds' is wistful and reassuring as it leaps to life with confidence, `Valentine' is unsurprisingly joyfully swooning and twinkling with a sweet naivety, and the title track closer suggests a fragile loneliness lifted with caring support and reassurance.

This album won't be to everyone's tastes, but if you can listen quietly and have the patience to concentrate on very minimal yet exquisite compositions of carefully composed and luscious music, this will be a hugely rewarding discovery. Especially haunting during the early A.M hours, `Until Never' is one of the most distinctive and personal instrumental albums of 2014, and a quietly stunning achievement for Mr Larsson. Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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