Thursday, December 8, 2016

Terje Rypdal - 'Descendre'

Going to try summarizing what I've been listening to for the past 2 years...until I get bored anyways. Winter always gets me in a jazz mood, especially ECM stuff. This label specializes in clinically-produced, note-perfect jazz that a lot of people find too sterile. That's true if you stick with stuff like Pat Metheny and Oregon, but a lot of the Scandinavian artists featured on the label are pretty innovative.

Terje Rypdal is a Norwegian jazz-fusion guitarist with several albums out on ECM. The double-LP 'Odyssey' is maybe his best work, but I think this one from 1979 distills that album's best ideas into a one-album set, without any 20-minute ambient soundscapes. Despite that, it's still very dreamy. Although Rypdal developed his style in a totally different time, his playing is very shoegazey.

According to the information I can find, most of his recorded material is at least partially improvised, which is pretty impressive considering how focused the mood here is. Well, it's not just here...most of his work has a late-night, creepy vibe, that would be taken to extremes by dark-jazz groups like Bohren and Der Club of Gore in the 2000's.

Good stuff to zone out to. I'd recommend it even if you're not a jazz fan, because this reminds me a lot of post-rock, which makes sense because a lot of the best post-rock seems to come from Scandinavia as well.

Terje Rypdal - 'Descendre' - 1979

1. Avskjed
2. Circles
3. Descendre
4. Innseiling
5. Men of Mystery
6. Speil


No comments: