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Terje Rypdal - Odyssey CD (album) cover


Terje Rypdal


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 38 ratings

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4 stars Don't know much about this excellent guitarist and composer. But when I stumble upon the name Terje Rypdal ... which occurs here and there ... it immediately reminds me of 'Over Birkerrot'. When I heard this song for the first time in the 70s I was flabbergasted so to say. It surely was the same decade ... don't ask me when exactly ... and I took the chance to see him performing on the stage with his band when they had a gig at my hometown. Very impressing what I can remember. It must have been the second half to be more precise, because they played, if not all, at least the majority of the songs from this album ... including my favourite.

I once owned this album as a double vinyl, including 'Rolling Stone' which was omitted for the following CD re-issues then, what I know. My LPs are out of order unfortunately ... and are resold to some collectors in the meanwhile .. this means I have no clue anymore, what this song is all about. 'Odyssey' holds some sort of excentric fusion music coupled with a slight symphonic approach. That said you'll find many sentimental parts, just take the trombone contributions for example. This is relaxed mostly, interwoven ambient respectively spacey elements caused by the organ ... and Rypdal's guitar is often lost in reverie. Melancholy pure to sum it up.

All in all dreamy Midnite - now the longest track indeed - is dominated by a hypnotic bass line. The trombone has a big solo part here. Adagio comes classically tinged due to some strings and Better Off Without You represents Sweetnighter (Weather Report) inspirations I would say. And I really like Ballade - another dreamy composition - with Rypdal's expressive varied guitar work, a bit McLaughlin reminiscent, very emotional.

In some way differing to the rest of the songs Over Birkerrot comprises an improv/jam approach, even if this is a relatively short exemplar. I always had regrets, why made that compactly? There is so much potential. Never mind - this swings, grooves, drummer Svein Christiansen is responsible due to his enormous drive. Who is the better virtuoso? Rypdal with his multiple guitar layers and organ player Brynjulf Blix are competing here, fantastic! Tornbjørn Sunde shows some nearly scary deep toned trombone contributions.

I'm not familiar with his other work, but quite sure anyhow that this is a valuable recommendation for a Rypdal newbie, an excellent piece of work in any case - provided with some typical Nordic dark mooded flavour.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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