Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Terje Rypdal - 1975 - Odyssey

Terje Rypdal 

Odyssey I
101. Darkness Falls     3:34
102. Midnite     16:42
103. Adagio     13:12
104. Better Off Without You     7:37

Extra tracks on Odyssey In Studio & In Concert reissue from 2012

    Odyssey II
201. Over Birkerot     4:48
202. Fare Well     11:28
203. Ballade     6:00
204. Rolling Stone     23:29

    Unfinished Highballs
301 Unfinished Highballs     3:52
302. The Golden Eye     14:01
303. Scarlet Mistress     12:27
304. Dawn     12:29
305. Dine And Dance To The Music Of The Waves     11:40
306. Talking Back     7:10
307. Bright Lights – Big City     6:15

on Odyssey:

- Terje Rypdal / guitar, string ensemble, soprano sax
- Tornbjørn Sunde / trombone
- Brynjulf Blix / organ
- Sveinung Hovensjø / 6 & 4 String Fender bass
- Svein Christiansen / drums

Bonus tracks:

Acoustic Guitar, Synthesizer [Synthesizers], Directed By – Terje Rypdal (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Alto Saxophone, Clarinet – Claes Rosendahl (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Bass Clarinet, Flute – Erik Nilsson (2) (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Bass Guitar – Sveinung Hovensjø
Celesta [Celeste], Harpsichord, Mellotron – Bengt Hallberg (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Electric Guitar, Soprano Saxophone – Terje Rypdal
Double Bass – Stefan Brolund (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Double Bass, Directed By – Georg Riedel (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Drums – Svein Christiansen
Drums, Percussion – Egil Johansen (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
French Horn – Ivar Olsen (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
French Horn, Trumpet – Håkan Nyquist* (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Organ – Brynjulf Blix
Soprano Saxophone, Flute, Soloist – Lennart Åberg (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Synthesizer – Terje Rypdal (tracks: 1-1 to 2-4)
Synthesizer, Electric Piano – Brynjulf Blix (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Flute [Alto Flute], Piccolo Flute, Soloist – Ulf Andersson (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Trombone – Torbjørn Sunde (tracks: 1-1 to 2-4)
Trombone [Bass Trombone], Tuba – Sven Larson* (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Trombone, Soloist – Torgny Nilson* (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Bertil Lövgren (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Soloist – Americo Bellotto (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7), Ulf Adåker (tracks: 3-1 to 3-7)

Odyssey recorded August 1975 at Arne Bendiksen Studio, Oslo
Unfinished Highballs recorded June 1976, Estrad, Södertälje

Forget about the 'jazz rock' label. For my money, this is one of the proggiest, trippiest and most ecstatic guitar prog CDs ever recorded. As long as you're willing to accept Rypdal's now-rather-outdated-sounding string synthesizer (which only provides occasional backing anyway) you're in for a real treat!

Rypdal and his band generally lay down slow, melancholic grooves, on top of which the organist and the trombone player (as well as the band leader on sax) get to play slow, dreamy solos - but the highlights of this album are Terje's incredibly poignant solos on lead guitar. Whenever you think Rypdal couldn't possibly move you more, his guitar sings out even stronger than before. He truly conquers heights other guitarists cannot reach, and part of the beauty lies in his plangent use of vibrato. In the mid-seventies Rypdal was young, and the ECM label gave him all the freedom he needed to record the sort of music he wanted to play. You can tell he's out there to put his name on the map. Every single note comes from the core of his soul.

Most of ODYSSEY's music is nocturnal and melancholic in style (only those soaring guitar solos take everything to a different level); but "Over Birkerot" is dark, grim, instrumental rock (not unrelated to Larks Tongues-era King Crimson), and the final track (on this CD release) is a superb, sonata-like romance.

ODYSSEY was originally released as a double LP. Unfortunately, the 'final album side' (which contained just one long track) has never been available on CD until 2012.

Did you think the Norwegian fjords couldn't sing? Think again! This album is a triumph.