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Secret Oyster - Vidunderlige Kælling [Aka: Astarte] CD (album) cover


Secret Oyster


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.27 | 35 ratings

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4 stars Vidunderlige Kælling is the 3rd full-length studio album by Danish jazz/ fusion act Secret Oyster. "Vidunderlige Kælling" translates into "Wonderful Bitch". The album was made specifically and on request for a ballet of the same name starring one of the greatest Danish female ballet dancers at the time Vivi Flindt ( it´s Vivi posing naked on the cover of the album). The ballet was created by her husband Flemming Flindt who was at the time artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet. It was Flemming Flindt who contacted Secret Oyster to see if the band were interested in composing music for the ballet, which they certainly were. Sax player Karsten Vogel explains in the CD booklet, that not only was it a great artistic challenge but also an offer they couldn´t refuse, simply because they were offered a good paycheck, which was something they weren´t used to. The ballet went on to become a big success ( probably in part because Vivi Flindt and several of the other dancers were naked in their scenes. Denmark was already back then a very liberal country when it came to nudity, but still!), but Karsten Vogel says that the experience didn´t live up to the band´s expectations. The original album contained 9 tracks while the 2005 Laser´s Edge re-issue features 3 bonus tracks. All tracks were written for and used in the ballet except the bonus track Circus Sax. The scene in the ballet where that song was supposed to be used was cut. The music was recorded so the band were not present during the ballet performances.

The music on Vidunderlige Kælling was composed simultaniously with the tracks that would make up the 4th full-length studio album by Secret Oyster called Straight To The Krankenhaus (1977), but it´s obvious when listening to Vidunderlige Kælling, that the music they wrote for the ballet was meant for a more structured setting than the band´s usually more jamming approach. There are also more classical influences in the music than usual. The quiet and melancholic Solitude and the tango Tango-bourgeoise are also quite different from the band´s usual style. The majority of the music still sound unmistakably like Secret Oyster though just a bit less jamming. This means jazz/ fusion of the highest caliber. Weather Report is the most obvious reference, but Secret Oyster have a guitarist in the lineup which gives them a different sound from that band. But there are other similarities. The music is fully instrumental and while there are guitar soloing in the bands music and a strong rythm section it´s sax player Karsten Vogel and keyboard player Kenneth Knudsen that are mostly in focus. The latter one really shines on this album.

The production is excellent and warm. Perfect for the music.

Vidunderlige Kælling is a great album by Secret Oyster and it fully showcases the incredible talent and compositional range within the band. A 3.5 - 4 star rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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