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Terje Rypdal - Waves CD (album) cover

WAVES

Terje Rypdal

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.69 | 27 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Terje Rypdal is a notable long-term musician in Norway's fusion scene. This seventh album contains six tracks and features Rypdal on electric guitar and synths, Palle Mikkelborg on trumpet, flugelhorn and synths plus the rhythm section of Sveinung Hovensjo and Jon Christensen.

'Per Ulv' is groovy with busy constant percussion, while guitar and trumpet make the composition airy. (BTW, on Rypdal's 1995 album If Mountains Could Sing is a track called 'The Return of Per Ulv' which is fantastic. Compared to that, this one was slightly disappointing.) On a blindfold test it would be fairly easy to place the music on the late seventies, even though the thick use of synths brings some 80's flavour as well. There's some resemblance to the late 70's or the 80's PEKKA POHJOLA, except that Pekka's music would probably have more emotion.

'Karusell', unlike one would expect from such title, is a slow-paced, ethereal, ambient piece starring trumpet in a lead role, at first almost free of percussion (mostly just some light cymbals). Might be a bit sleepy for an average fusion listener, but it is fairly pleasant for a patient, ambient-minded listener. 'Stenskoven' is the shortest track and composed by Mikkelborg whereas all the others are written by Rypdal. Curiously this one has a carousel-like feel, not 'Karusell'. Again, it reminds me of some lighter 80's tracks of Pekka Pohjola, on the Space Waltz album for example.

'Waves' is the highlight, very atmospheric and spacey. Here you get a lot of the meditative electric guitar sound so distinctively Rypdal's. 'The Dain Curse' is, like 'Per Ulv', a mixture of steady funkiness and ambientish soloing especially for the trumpet. Hmm, nice, but there could be more musical progression for nearly nine minutes. 'Charisma' is the other highlight (I'm backing Mellotron Storm in this opinion), a slow, cinematic epic of delicate atmosphere. The dialogue-like contributions of electric guitar and trumpet make the piece beautiful.

My rating is 3 stars, and in theory it could have been rounded up to four. I haven't heard very many Rypdal albums (for years I haven't been listening to him altogether), and this one might very well be on the better side of the scale. But for leaving me slightly cold right now, three stars will do. My favourite Norwegian is still Jan Garbarek. Nevertheless, warmly recommended to those who are into ambient-oriented modern fusion.

Matti | 3/5 |

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