Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Marc Moulin - 1975 - Sam' Suffy

Marc Moulin 
Sam' Suffy

01. Le Saule    6:00
02. Misterioso    1:43
03. From    3:35
04. La Blouse    4:10
05. La Bougie    1:58
06. Le Beau Galop    4:20
07. Tohubohu - Part I    5:12
08. Tohubohu - Part II    4:08
09. Tohubohu - Part III    2:11
10. Tohubohu - Part IV    2:08
11. Tohubohu - Part V    3:36

Drums – Garcia Morales
Keyboards – Marc Moulin
Drums – Bruno Castellucci
Flugelhorn – Richard Rousselet
Guitar – Philippe Catherine
Electric Piano, Organ – Jasper Van't Hof

This incredible album, first released in 1975, has been reissued by Blue Note in 2005. The line-up is simplified around the trio Marc Moulin (keyboards), Richard Rousselet (trumpet) and Bruno Castellucci (drums). The music is a mixture of soul, jazz and early electronic music. Moulin samples sounds of hippos and water, and during the concerts he uses pre-recorded Moogs and the very first sequencers.  What he was doing on his recent recordings for Blue Note is far and away from the exiting music he made in the mid 70-ties.

Träd, Gräs Och Stenar - 1996 - Gärdet 12.6.1970

Träd, Gräs Och Stenar
Gärdet 12.6.1970

01. Frihetsdans i D-Moll (15:05)
02. Tegenborgsvalsen (2:28)
03. Lifeforce #3 (14:08)
04. All Along The Watchtower (8:44)
05. In Kommer Gösta (6:28)
06. Satisfaction (8:58)

- Arne Eriksson / electric piano
- Bo Anders Persson / guitar, vocals
- Torbjörn Abelli / bass
- Thomas Gartz / drums, vocals

TRAD GRAS OCH STENAR evolved out of the band INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER, in fact all four members here were in that earlier band. These guys carry on the spirit of INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER who were very innovative, in fact i'd call them trail-blazers. They had a psycedelic style with lots of jamming. This particular album is posthumously released and is a live record from the very first Garten Festival held in June of 1970. This was the first so called alternative or underground music festival of it's kind held in Sweden and TRAD GRAS OCH STENAR were a big part of getting it organized which took over a year. All the bands that performed here were outside of the commercial music industry and they all played for free and helped in every way they could. The government back then was conservative and there were so many road-blocks in getting this approved that they finally decided to do it illegally. They advertised it heavily hoping that if many people showed up the police would let them carry on. Well even in setting things up the police were frequent visitors and many arguments resulted but in the end the concert went ahead in the pouring rain. The owners of the field decided to let the concert go ahead and the police were instructed to keep the hippies on the field and when it was over those involved with the concert were procecuted. TRAD GRAS OCH STENAR had the honour of performing first. This was all recorded by a man who was a friend of the band seated near the front of the stage. He used a tape recorder with a microphone. This was before the band had released any albums so this really is their first recording.
"Frihetsdans I D-Moll" is pretty much the band jamming repetively over and over. "Tegenborgsvalsen" is more of the same only the jam is much shorter. "Lifeforce #3" builds very slowly. Drums to the fore as it ends. "All Along The Watchtower" is a Bob Dylan track made famous by Hendrix. It took me quite a while to even know this was that song. Lazy guitar and vocals help out. "In Kommer Gosta" kicks in with vocals before a minute. Catchy stuff. "Satisfaction" is another cover this time of THE ROLLING STONES hit. It's okay.

Well it's in part because of the sound quality, although it's not bad. Maybe it's because it's live or maybe it's the material but this doesn't come close to being as good as INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER's debut. A good album though and maybe more important because of it's historical significance on Progressive music in Sweden.

Träd, Gräs Och Stenar - 1972 - Rock För Kropp Och Själ

Träd, Gräs Och Stenar
Rock För Kropp Och Själ

01. In Kommer Gösta (3:59)
02. I Ljuset Av Din Dag (6:16)
03. Solen Går Upp, Solen Går Ner (2:11)
04. Våran Vila (8:37)
05. Rock för Kropp och Själ (22:47)

- Arne Eriksson / piano, cello, flute
- Bo Anders Persson / guitar, vocals, violin, flute
- Jakob Sjöholm / guitar
- Torbjörn Abelli / bass, harp, flute
- Thomas Gartz / drums, harp, flute, vocals

The Swedish "progg" movement contained both prog rock bands and political rock bands and it was a political left wing movement that was very big. Träd, gräs och stenar was a stripped and improvisation based band sprung from Harvester, International Harvester and Pärson Sound. They made two 70s studio records of whom I think this is the most interesting. I admit they were talanted and quite lonely with their sound and if you try them perhaps you'd like them. My listening to their music was interesting but I'm not very impressed.
If you'll find this record, listen to the first two songs ? they are good. "In kommer Gösta" was made famous of another swedish progg (and prog) band Philemon Arthur and the Dung but this version is heavier and better (3/5). "I ljuset av din dag" (3/5) is a hippy song with a nice mood and a melody but still their unpolished sound. I my opinion they should have been more pretentious. "Solen går upp, solen går ner" (0/5) is a totally meaningsless rubbish and "Våran vila" is perhaps political but it is hard to hear the lyrics(2/5).

If you liked the two first songs perhaps you can try "Rock för kropp och själ"(2/5) - the monster of this record. It is a minimalistic jam that runs for over twentytwo minutes. For me it is very monotonic but somewhere you can hear really good guitar being played. If you like minimalistic things or Krautrock this could be something for you. I'm more up to symphonic, folk and eclectic prog or political "progg". Träd, gräs och stenar intended to sound living and careless. Their message was: "everybody can play!". TGOS could play but ? they didn't.

Träd, Gräs Och Stenar - 1972 - Mors Mors

Träd, Gräs Och Stenar
Mors Mors

01. Sångbron (2:40)
02. Hälsa Ulla (8:07)
03. Chrisboogie (12:02)
04. Last Time (8:59)
05. Dansa jord (5:18)
06. Klangbron (4:21)
07. Rocktrall (2:58)

CD Bonus track
08. Sommarlåten (26:41)

- Bo Anders Persson / guitar
- Jakob Sjöholm / guitar
- Arne Eriksson / piano
- Sten Bergman / piano
- Torbjörn Abelli / bass
- Thomas Gartz / drums

Live recordings from Sweden & Denmark 1972. This is the twin release to Djungelns lag. Originally released in a very limited edition on their sound engineer Per Odeltorps'(also known as Per Gud or Stig Vig) own label TALL. They were reissued by American label 1/2 Special 2002. Enough now ...
This record is a bit weaker than Djungelns lag. One reason is that Arne Erikson(cello, clavinet) left 1972. Another reason is that it doesn't contains so much long improvisations. There's only one long workout, the CD bonus track - "Sommarlaten"(16:41) - loosely based on that song from their 1968 masterpiece Sov gott Rosmarie(released as International Harvester).
Two other shorter improvs works well - "Klangbron" & "Sångbron".
The rest is more song based or traditional rock, for example a cover of Stones "The Last Time".

This is the Trad Gras record that I return to most.  It's maybe not as endlessly deep as the head-spinning Parson Sound reissue or as drool-enducing as some of the jams on Sov Gott Rose-Marie, but that doesn't mean it's not worthy.  This was one of the last releases from their first period together and it sounds like they're totally at ease, improvising, jamming and having amazing fun...

Chrisboogie is one of their best, the guitars just effortlessly circling each other and lifting the rest of the band ever upwards.  Last Time starts off a pretty straight Rolling Stones cover, before going all glassy-eyed and zoned out, the guitars icing over and locking into repetitive mantras.  They did this on other records with 'All Along the Watchtower', and 'Satisfaction'; when it happens it turns pretty average covers into beautiful and mesmeric trance-outs.

The drumming is also totally perfect, light and energetic and completely breathless throughout the 16 minutes of Sommerlaten.  I absolutely love this record and would recommend it as a great starting point for anyone.

Träd, Gräs Och Stenar - 1971 - Djungelns Lag

Träd, Gräs Och Stenar
Djungelns Lag

01. Sanningens silverflod (5:39)
02. Dibio (1:42)
03. Tidigt om morgonen (13:47)
04. Munfiol (2:57)
05. Vär Vila (9:39)
06. Drammen export - Sommarlåten (13:11)

CD Bonus track
07. Amithaba - In Kommer Gösta (31:30)

- Bo Anders Persson / guitar, vocals, violin, flute
- Jakob Sjöholm / guitar
- Arne Eriksson / piano, cello, flute
- Torbjörn Abelli / bass, harp, flute
- Thomas Gartz / drums, harp, flute, vocals

 "Djungelns Lag" (The Law of Jungle) offers us an experience from a live concert of this cult band. Musical quality varies from quite good to poor; For example the first track "Sanningens Silverflod" is a pleasant dark and moody euphoric rock tune, resembling slightly Hawkwind without their cosmic synth soundscapes. Then on the second track "Dibio" the only good quality in my opinion is its shortness, this sounds more like a stoned joking in front of the audience. The third track "Tidigt om Morgonen" (Early in The Morning) continues in the acoustic style of the previous song, but now the moods are deeper, reaching nearly religious heights. The singers don't hit the notes, so if singing and partially playing off the absolute notes makes you feel bad, this definitely isn't a record for you. The song has a long trance-oriented jam session between the folky wailings, and this rock chaos is the element which pleases me here most. The seeking of trance continues in minimalistic manners but with stronger intensity on "Munfiol", where the Jewish harp gives rhythm to the violin. Sadly this is only a short excerpt which is faded out in the end, I wonder did the tape run out or was the performance ruined? "Vär Vila" continues as a trashy Rolling Stones sounding gonzo rant. I liked both the sound and the melody of the guitar, but the singing here felt bit annoying. The later part of the song with improvisations without singing is really great. "Drammen export - Sommarlåten" fades in kicking out some good jams. There's a strong power in the mantric rock patterns, later morphing into more tender moods. It also introduces predesigned melodies nicely after long open playing, proving that the players really listen to each other. This kind of long good jams are the reason why I like this record even due its other faults. Therefore the enhanced CD with an over half hour long bonus track "Amithaba - In Kommer Gösta" is more interesting to listen than the original vinyl, which on the other hand is a fine collecting item. The long epic starts from the tunings and introduction speaks, from where the slow mantra starts to build up - this is a honest and a precise documentary way of releasing live material which I prefer. The huge musical form waves and shimmers like the sun, dissolving the sense of time. If the album would consist only material as good as this performance, it would be a real masterpiece. If you like archaic psychedelia and early trance oriented Krautrock, check out this unbalanced but interesting album.

Träd, Gräs Och Stenar - 1969 - Träd, Gräs Och Stenar

Träd, Gräs Och Stenar
Träd, Gräs Och Stenar

01. All Along The Watchtower (8:16)
02. I Can't Get No Satisfaction (11:07)
03. Sanningens Silverflod (3:53)
04. Tegenborgsvalsen (2:35)
05. All Makt Åt Folket (6:05)
06. Svarta Pärla (5:19)

- Bo Anders Persson / guitar, violin, flute, vocals
- Arne Eriksson / piano, cello, flute
- Torbjörn Abelli / bass, harp, flute
- Thomas Gartz / drums, harp, flute, vocals

With their trance-evoking mix of psychedelic blues-rock and folk music, Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Trees, Grass and Stones) played a central roll in the development of progressive rock in Scandinavia in the early '70s. They were also one of the biggest, and best-sounding, examples of the idea that the audience should participate in the music. Träd, Gräs och Stenar was formed in 1969 by drummer Thomas Mera Gartz, bassist Torbjörn Abelli, cellist Arne Ericsson, and guitarist Bo Anders Persson, remnants of International Harvester, and released a self-titled debut album in 1970. That same year they wrote the music for the film Du Gamla du Fria but remained mainly a live band. Not only did they perform better live than on record -- they even had a program that pointed out live interaction with the audience as the main purpose.

Träd, Gräs och Stenar stood for a union of art with politics and artists with the audience. Practically, that resulted in concerts where the audience took part in the music, as can be heard on Spela Själv. This was also one of the ideas behind the illegal festivals at Gärdet that the band initiated. Guitarist Jakob Sjöholm joined in 1970 and the first few years of the decade came to be very productive for Träd, Gräs och Stenar. They toured throughout Scandinavia, took part in various festivals, events, and protests, and released the live LPs Djungelns Lag and Mors Mors in 1971 and 1972, both having grave sound problems. The studio album Rock För Kropp Och Själ, with its 20-minute title track, was released in 1972. Feeling dwindling support for their idea of organic art anarchism and reportedly also having problems with the police because of the amount of drugs at their concerts, they decided to disband later the same year.

In 1979 Träd, Gräs och Stenar reunited, now including poet Thomas Tidholm, who had been a member of International Harvester in the '60s, and during 1980 and 1981 they toured under the name T Gås. If this reunion wasn't too successful and progressive rock was looked down upon in the '80s, the '90s saw Träd, Gräs och Stenar's influence being recognized again, with names like Pavement's Stephen Malkmus mentioning them as an inspirational source. In 1995 it was time for a more lasting reunion and in 1996 they played at the Emmaboda Festival, which was followed up by a number of festival gigs in the coming years. In 2000 and 2001 they recorded material for a new studio album, the first in almost 20 years; Ajn Schvajn Draj was released in 2002. The group resumed touring during subsequent years, but guitarist Persson would later depart the touring version of the band. Träd, Gräs och Stenar issued another album, Homeless Cats, in 2009; however, bassist Abelli passed away the following year, and drummer Gartz died in 2012.

Harvester - 1969 - Hemåt


01. Nar Lingonen Mognar
02. Kristallen Den Fina
03. Kuk-Polska
04. Nepal Boogie
05. Everybody (Needs Somebody to Love)
06. Bacon Tomorrow
07. Och Solen Gar Upp
08. Hemat

- Bo Anders Persson / guitars, vocals
- Thomas Tidholm / saxophone, flute, vocals
- Urban Yman, Kjell Westling / violins
- Arne Eriksson / cello
- Torbjörn Abelli / bass
- Thomas Gartz / drums, vocals

- Ulla (With THE ICE CREAM) / cymbal (small)

Harvester was formed in 1967 in Stockholm by guitarist Bo Anders Persson and included cello player Ericsson and violinist Yman. They were first known because of International Harvester and Pärsson Sound who delivered colossal live sessions during the late 60s. In 1968 they changed their name for Harvester. During that period they partly abandoned their psych-out droning rock and focused their interest on traditional folk music and acoustic performances. Harvester provided splendid home made epiphanic folk ragas made of ritual psychotropical moods and improvised bucolic ballads. The debut album Sov Gott Rose-Marie was released in 1968 on Love. In 1969 alternative labels had started to pop up, and with the name shortened to Harvester the band released their second album, Hemåt, on Decibel.

Continuing the Swedish Krautrock adventure, International Harvester lost the "International" part of their name and continued to fine-tune, push and redirect the confines of their brand new invention. Hemåt (Homewards) is the second and last album of theirs, and it is quite a shame because I for one would have loved to hear what could've, should've might have been. Instead they morphed into an altogether new act called Träd, Gräs och Stenar, which went even further with a certain tool shed production...

What I really like about this album, is the fact that they have evolved the intimate and minimal chug rock of their debut into something infinitely more solid, grooving and rocking. There are tracks here that just ooze wild tribal fury and fire with rumbling Cream like drumming and the apt guitar and bass visions to accompany such a thing. What those tracks turn into as a whole (and as a result of this saucy cooperation) are these magnificent raw creatures of sound tearing up the very soil with Neanderthal music stamping through the airwaves like a regular hippopotamus' hoe-down. It's primal and largely based around simple monkey like rhythm schemes, but it works wonders just as well. The second track Kristallen den Fina is a fine example of this remarkable style.

Jumping straight to my favourite cut off Hemåt - I'd like to speak a bit about the rendition of Everybody (Needs somebody to Love). This track is completely torn apart in these mellow skewed psychedelic surfaces - sounding almost like mantra like chants emanating from your local opium den. Wah wahing guitar along with the tribal tom work again points a finger back towards Cream, but this is just so much more loosey goosey and jello based. If you've heard the original song before, then don't hold your breath for anything recognisable other than the steaming vocalisations in the back... So why only 3 stars you say? Well this album's got some serious issues as well. One of them being the horrifically bad sound quality there is to some of the tracks. Audiophiles of PA take cover - you're most likely going to hate these with every inch of your body. Tracks like Nepal- Boogie and Bacon Tomorrow(HA HAH!! Gotta love that title though...) sound like they were recorded from the insides of a shed by a drunk toddler with a 1940s microphone down his nappy. Whatever qualities there are to either of these tracks are lost in complete marmalade overkill. Everything sounds muffled and gagged - like listening to a psych jam from the other end of a telephone. Too bad, because one of these sounds like an acid drenched take on Canned Heat's bobbing boogie style.

Finally, I find it pretty mesmerizing that the title track Hemåt is a bonus track that originally was left off the record. The only reason I have it is because I purchased the reissue cd, and to top it all off - the tune is actually one of the best psych jams on this outing! Maybe the guys had completely gone fishing - smoked too much space tobacco and injected the wrong kind of medicine, but I think it speaks volumes about the whole mental state of the times(and band), that a track like this was binned in favour of either of the earlier mentioned toddler recordings. Sheer madness! Still, when this album is good - it is very good, and I feel instantly shot back into those Neanderthal grooves with the hypnotic tribal drums, the occasional saxophone toots and the see saw guitars sloshing away

International Harvester - 1968 - Sov Gott Rose-Marie

International Harvester
Sov Gott Rose-Marie

01. Dies Irae (2:26)
02. I villande skogen (0:47)
03. There is no other place (2:41)
04. The Runcorn report on western progress (3:27)
05. Statsministern (0:20)
06. Ho Chi Minh (1:47)
07. It's only love (1:40)
08. Klockan är mycket nu (3:29)
09. Ut till vänster (0:42)
10. Sommarlåten (2:50)
11. Sov gott Rose-Marie (3:38)
12. I mourn you (12:47)
13. How to survive (11:42)

14. Skördetider (24:58)

- Bo Anders Persson / guitars, vocals
- Thomas Tidholm / saxophone, flute, vocals
- Urban Yman / violin
- Arne Eriksson / cello
- Torbjörn Abelli / bass
- Thomas Gartz / drums, vocals

This band is the second incarnation of the Swedish late 60's psychedelic musical collective, which started as PÄRSON SOUND, and which eventually evolved as TRÄD, GRÄS OCH STENAR, inspired by the
American minimalist composer TERRY RILEY among spontaneous underground rock movement aesthetics. The name change was innovated by Bo Ander PERSSON, and it was taken from a name of American company producing agricultural machines. In year 1968 they released the album "Sov Gott Rose-Marie", which was published by the Finnish record label Love Records. This album combined psychedelic rock, folk elements, jazzy improvisations, political statements and natural soundscapes, creating a record fitting logically to the maturing of the group's musical vision. Before the band evolved as to TRÄD, GRÄS OCH STENAR they yet released album "Hemat" with a shortened band name HARVESTER. The spontaneous music of this group was really ahead of their time, and anybody interested of early chaotic krautrock should check out their records, which have now been re-released as vinyls and CD's featuring interesting long jams as bonus tracks.

The inspiration for this Swedish band was ignited when American Terry Riley visited Sweden in the spring of 1967. He performed his minimalistic classic "In C" which inspired a lot of student musicians including Bo Anders Persson.The year before Terry's visit Bo had started studies at the Royal Academy but he didn't feel like he fit in with stiff academic atmosphere.The openess and experimental outlet he was looking for he heard when Terry Riley performed his concert. Bo wasn't the only one who was touched, as it brought together musicians of like-mind which would eventually turn into INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER. I should mention that this band was very left wing in their political beliefs, usually playing at communist rallys etc. The goal of the band was to create something free which often would involve improvs. Bo wanted to create a more contemporary kind of rhythmic music that could play the same role as the traditional Folk music, a music that was both sensual and transcendent. Of course Terry Riley's hypnotic around and around repetitiveness was very inspiring to Bo. He just wanted it to be more organic. The results to my ears are close to Krautrock, in fact that Krautrock spirit is very much the dominating force for me. Bands like CAN and AMON DUUL came to mind. Remember though that this was 1968, so to call this six piece band trail blazers would be to state the truth.
"Dies Irae" has these loud horns and other stressful sounds as the birds sing in the background. A seemingly strange combination.The horns slowly fade away until all you hear are the birds which continues into the next 47 second track.This is kind of cool of course when you realize that this is a Latin death hymn, so the loud heavy sounds represent dying and the pastoral and peaceful sound of the birds is death. "There Is No Other Place" kicks in right away and i'm really reminded of HAWKWIND surprisingly.Vocals join in as they jam heavily. "The Runcorn Report On Western Progress" opens with the sounds of cars driving by and then a mellow soundscape takes over with drugged out vocals. "Statsministern" is 20 seconds of a beat with vocals. "Ho Chi Minh" opens with drums and the vocals chant words over and over from before a minute to the end. "It's Only Love" has these lazy vocals and sound. "Klockan Ar Mycket Nu" has chanted vocals and a beat.The vocals echo later on. "Ut Till Vanster" has horns a beat and what sounds like wind chimes.

"Sommartatan" is an amazing tune with that beat, guitar and vocals. Love it ! "Sov Gott Rose-Marie" is slower paced with mournful vocals. "I Mourn You" is incredible. A beat with flute, guitar and cello as they jam. OUT OF FOCUS comes to mind.Vocals after 4 minutes repeat over and over with passion "I mourn you".This is so good. CAN is a band i'm reminded of here as well. Horns too help out. "How To Survive" has a relaxed beat with flute.You can hear dogs barking as this improv was actually recorded live in a park in Stockholm in the summer of 1968.

Revolutionary might be an over the top word for this album but like PINK FLOYD these guys were creating their own path and implimenting their own ideas.The led not followed. It might not always have worked but then again when you blaze a new trail you often make a wrong turn or two. A very influencial band.

Pärson Sound - 1968 - Pärson Sound

Pärson Sound 
Pärson Sound

01. Intro (0:53)
02. Tio minuter (10:29)
03. From Tunis to India in Fullmoon on Testosterone (20:29)
04. India (Slight Return) (13:06)
05. A Glimpse Inside the Glyptotec -66 (6:01)
06. One Quiet Afternoon (in the King's garden) (10:32)
07. Sov gott Rose-Marie (13:18)
08. Skrubba (28:56)
09. Milano (7:57)
10. On How to Live (7:26)
11. Blåslåten (5:41)

- Bo Anders Persson / guitar, vocals
- Torbjörn Abelli / bass
- Thomas Mera Gartz / drums, vocals
- Arne Ericsson / cello, piano
- Thomas Tidholm / saxophone, vocals
- Jakob Sjöholm / guitar, vocals
- Urban Yman / violin

Recorded 1967/68, released 2001

Before to become TRÄD, GRÄS OCH STENAR, this late 60's Swedish musical collective were first known under the name PÄRSON SOUND and then as INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER. They only published one album with the original formation. This band can easily define the Sweden's krautrock sound. Not so far from ÄLGARNAS TRÄDGÅRD and CHARLIE & ESDSOR... A brilliant psych album with buzzing drone-ragas and cavernous free rock improvisations.

Hard to imagine that this albums was written in 1967. Implicitly it prefigures krautrock's druggy eccentricities and the most spacey side of progressive rock. The band integrates in a very authentic and personal way different inspirations from acid folk, eastern tinged improvisations, "droning" minimal hypnosis and "kosmische" instrumentals. All compositions feature trance like effects incorporated in mesmerizing and "primitive" jam sessions. It also include "stoned" vocals. This underground musical travel is an interstellar transport that clearly invokes trance like state. Far away more innovative and avant gardist than the "pseudo" pre-spacey rock circle led by the Pink Floyd. In the vast domain of psychedelic "free" rock and in comparison to Parson Sound, the Pink Floyd are "miniatures". "Parson Sound" is a mind blowing, "apocalyptic" and pioneering effort. A must have for fans of the radical and heavy psych Algarnas Tradgard and Trad Gras Och Stenar. It's time to re-define correctly and with a better justice the genesis of psychedelic space music.

A collection of archive material comprising rehearsals and radio broadcasts never released at the time of recording, this 2001 release is a fascinating document of an otherwise unexposed band creating exciting and innovative material steeped in the experimentations of Terry Riley, and infused with the heady sound of psychedelia that was omnipresent in the 1960s.

It's not as innovative or wide-ranging in creativity as either Pink Floyd or The Soft Machine, though, and certainly, each piece in this collection bar a solo experiment by BoAnders Persson from 1966 follows in the wake of Piper....

The pieces themselves are generally drone and raga-based affairs, rather similar in overall style and concept to Malachi's Holy Music release of 1966, but the overall soundscape has a strong leaning towards a more Heavy Metal style.

Tio minuter (Ten minutes) dates from late September 1967. It's a really simple and extremely loose jam around two chords, with painful, ploddy drumming and heavy metal style fuzzed guitars, going for what some might see as a textural approach, with a violin providing a single-note continuo, like a stripped-back version of It's a Beautiful Day, without the fireworks of David LaFlamme. Every so often, it all kinda comes together like a Hawkwind or Pink Fairies out take. It's a bit like Can, but without the attention to detail in overall layout. There's no doubting the place in the scheme of things, though - this is essentially Krautrock at the inception of the movement, but it lacks any of the sophistication or architecture in arrangement of Pink Floyd, and feels rather dragged out to the timeframe. The change around 6:45 is particularly lugubrious, like Cream on mogadons.

From Tunis to India in Fullmoon (On Testosterone) dates from early 1968. At 20 and a half minutes, it's the second longest piece in this collection, and again, sounds like one of Hawkwinds more anarchic jams, this connection highlighted by the constantly wailing sax.

A continuous bass line drives the fuzzed-out guitars into another texture fest, more coherent than the previous one, but the minimalist changes over continual drones are not dramatically different to what other psychedelic bands had done in the previous year. What is notable, though, is the overall heaviness in texture.

There's a much welcomed breakdown around 11:30, which builds very slowly and chaotically back to the orginal idea - if music with events in is what gets you going, you won't find too much in here.

India (Slight Return) dates from February 1968. It's somewhat out of tune, and an uncomfortable listen as a result. The first few minutes remind me of the early part of Careful with That Axe Eugene - but without the sense of purpose. The purpose here seems to be to wallow in the sonic textures rather than to create artistic music.

A glimpse inside the Glyptotec-66 is a recording of BoAnders Persson which, dating from 1966, is the earliest piece on this collection, and essentially a tape loop experimentation. Again, this is not event-driven music, and is simply an experiment with sonic textures and feedback - but is probably the most effective piece on the album, reminding me of some of Stockhausen's work

One quiet afternoon (in the King's Garden) is the earliest band recording, dating from July 1967, and is the loosest piece of the lot. Again, a simple two-chord jam with breakdowns and minimal textural adjustments, it's in no way as interesting as the Hapshash and the Coloured Coat album, except, perhaps, for the complete dissolution into noise, which may interest fans of noise rock - but it's quite hard to tell from the recording quality how much is intentional noise, and how much is equipment overload.

Sov gott Rose-marie (Parts 1-3: It's only love, Till Indien and Sov gott Rose-marie) is a better quality recording, as it was made for radio broadcast in December 1967. It seems to comprise something along the lines of a pop/rock song driven by the riff to Stepping Stone, underlined when the bass plays in contrary motion. At 2:20, this gives way to the Careful with that Axe Eugene idea used in India (Slight Return), indicating that these two pieces are musically linked. This suite is rounded off with an interesting Krautrock-sounding section with vocal drones continually chanting the title.

Skrubba was recorded live in May 1968, and is a painful half an hour jam that is based on the second idea in Let There Be More Light from Pink Floyd's A Saucerful of Secrets (released in April of that year, so the connection seems more than a co-incidence, particularly since Floyd would have gigged the ideas in the months from late 1967 until the album's release). This has none of the sophisticated construction of Floyd's piece, however, and makes me wonder whether I should upgrade my original rating of that album. This piece is too long by about 25 minutes and adds nothing to music's canon.

Milano also dates from May 1968, and is much more interesting... at first. It's an intense ride - but another jam, this time around one chord. The heavy sonic textures are appealing, but lose their interest quite quickly.

On How to live is a jam from the summer of 1968, and reminds me of the Hapshash and the Coloured Coat album in the use of bongos - but really, that's just a typical feature of psychedelia from this time. The birdsong is an interesting addition, though, and makes for a pleasant if repetitive piece of chill-out music.

Blåslåten is the latest (and most interesting) piece on the album, dating from August 1968. It's driven by busked saxes, with reverb giving a real underground flavour. The rippling accompaniment is a clear connection to the work of Terry Riley, and, despite the drifts out of tune, is probably the best piece on here.

Terje Rypdal - 1976 - After the Rain

Terje Rypdal 
After the Rain

01. Autumn Breeze (4:36)
02. Air (4:28)
03. Now & Then (2:53)
04. Wind (1:25)
05. After The Rain (6:08)
06. Kjare Maren (4:11)
07. Little Bell (1:38)
08. Vintage Year - (3:49)
09. Multer (2:55)
10. Like A Child Like A Song (6:01)

- Terje Rypdal / electric and acoustic guitars, string ensemble piano, electric piano, Soprano saxophone, flute, tubular bells, bells
- Inger Lise Rypdal / voice

AFTER THE RAIN is short, but it's Terje Rypdal's most perfect album.

A collection of achingly beautiful melodies, played on Terje's distinctive, nocturnal-sounding guitar, and accompanied only by minimal piano, gentle synthesizer washes, minimal percussion, and occasional human voice.

The sense of Terje trying to overwhelm us with strong, syrupy emotions (which you may get from some of the man's later albums) is completely absent here. All tunes are extremely delicate in mood. The music is so delightfully melancholic - if you're not in love with anyone when you start playing this, you'll feel as if you were by the time you reach the end! Which doesn't mean that this music is sentimental.

All you get here is pure, unadulterated, 100% natural Rypdal. In my opinion, apart from David Torn and Pat Metheny, T.R. is simply the proggiest guitarist on the ECM label. And AFTER THE RAIN is his earliest masterpiece. So switch off the electric lights, light some candles, listen how the gales roar and enjoy.

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.

Terje Rypdal - 1974 - Whenever I Seem to Be Far Away

Terje Rypdal 
Whenever I Seem to Be Far Away

01. Silver Bird Is Heading For The Sun (14.03)
02. The Hunt (5:22)
03. Whenever I Seem To Be Far Away(17:39)

- Terje Rypdal / electric guitar
- Odd Ulleberg / French horn
- Helmut Geiger /violin
- Christian Hedrich / viola
- Pete Knutsen / electric piano, Mellotron
- Sveinung Hovensjo / electric bass
- Jon Christensen / percussion
- Sudfunk Symphony Orchestra.

The photo on the album cover was taken after the sun had set and it's almost dark. You can still see dark blue in the water and sky, but it will soon be all black. An apt description of the music inside. Not totally dark like UNIVERSE ZERO for example, but it's pretty close at times. This is different to say the least.

The first two tracks feature a lot of haunting and even creepy mellotron from Pete Knutsen from the Norwegian band POPOL VUH. The French horn only adds to the melancholy, while we at times get some fuzz bass(first track). The lead guitar work by Terje on the first two tracks is fantastic. The self titled side long track has no mellotron on it, but it's the darkest song on the record, this is Chamber music that slowly moves along with the help of strings, clarinet and aboe from a Symphony orchestra. Terje again comes in with his wondrous guitar playing to liven things up somewhat. "Silver Bird Is Heading For The Sun" opens with french horn as waves of haunting mellotron come in. It kicks into gear a minute in as we get some fuzz bass, guitar and drums. Piano joins in as well, the guitar becomes prominant 2 minutes in. More mellotron follows. Fuzz bass 4 minutes in as piano and guitar do their thing. Terje is at his most aggressive after 5 minutes as he rips it up. French horn is back before 7 1/2 minutes as fuzz bass continues. The mellotron after 11 minutes is so creepy. The guitar kicks back in before 12 1/2 minutes as mellotron and fuzz bass continue. It brightens somewhat for the ending when the french horn comes in.

"The Hunt" opens with drums and percussion. French horn follows and mellotron before 1 1/2 minutes. Deep bass and guitar also join in. The mellotron is great ! So is the bass. French horn is back 3 minutes in. The final minute of the song sounds amazing. "Whenever I Seem So Far Away" opens with sombre violin sounds followed by clarinet then violin again. Strings and a dark mood is set before 3 minutes. Clarinet is fairly prominant until we get a change 7 minutes in as the sound gets fuller. Terje starts to take over with his guitar as it cries out in the darkness,especially 14 minutes in. A calm with violin 15 minutes in followed by clarinet 17 minutes in.The guitar ends this one though the way it should.

Terje Rypdal - 1973 - What Comes After

Terje Rypdal 
What Comes After

01. Bend It 9:52
02. Yearning 3:21
03. Icing 7:48
04. What Comes After 10:59
05. Sejours 3:51
06. Back Of J. 4:17

Bass [Electric] - Sveinung Hovensjø
Bass [Piccolo] - Barre Phillips
Double Bass - Barre Phillips
Guitars, Flute - Terje Rypdal
Oboe, English Horn - Erik Niord Larsen
Organ - Jon Christensen
Percussion - Jon Christensen

Terje Rypdal albums seem to be getting harder to get with each passing year. And even though i've only been listening to this for about a week and a half i'd say it's already a top three Rypdal record for me.

"Bend It" opens with percussion as the bass joins in and we get this repetitive bass line throughout which sounds really good. Guitar joins in and it sounds amazing after 2 minutes. Bowed bass after 2 1/2 minutes. The guitar is more prominant 5 minutes in. This is so good. "Yearning" opens with acoustic guitar expressions as English horn comes in after a minute along with bass. This has a melancholic mood throughout. "Icing" opens with different sounds like guitar, aboe. bass, chimes and so on. Sounds like flute too as the drums arrive. The guitar comes to the fore 2 1/2 minutes in. This is a relaxed tune.

"What Comes After" has a beat as the guitar and atmosphere joins in. Love the guitar and bass here. Bowed bass 4 1/2 minutes in as everything becomes more passionate. It settles back 6 minutes in but not for long. Rypdal rips it up after 9 minutes. Lots of atmosphere 10 minutes in as it settles back. "Sejours" is a relaxed track with bowed bass, atmosphere and flute. "Back Of J' has these sparse guitar and bass sounds. Drums do become active late.

Terje Rypdal - 1971 - Terje Rypdal

Terje Rypdal 
Terje Rypdal

01. Keep It Like That - Tight (12:10)
02. Rainbow (7:05)
03. Electric Fantasy (15:45)
04. Lontano II (3:10)
05. Tough Enough (4:45)

Bass [Electric] - Bjørnar Andresen (tracks: 5)
Bass [Electric], Double Bass - Arild Andersen (tracks: 1 to 4)
Electric Piano - Bobo Stenson (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 5) , Tom Halversen (tracks: 3)
Guitar, Flute - Terje Rypdal
Oboe, English Horn - Ekkehard Fintl
Percussion - Jon Christensen
Saxophone [Tenor], Flute, Clarinet - Jan Garbarek
Voice - Inger Lise Rypdal

Recorded on Aug. 12 and 13, 1971 at the Arne Bendiksen Studio, Oslo

Terje Rypdal's second album is filled with inventive soundscapes which are often eerie in nature. I usually say that if it's a rainy day it's time to put on some Rypdal, but this album is best listened to at night.

A beat comes in before a minute on "Keep It Like That-Tight" as guitar sounds come and go. Horns join in at 6 minutes and Jan Garbarek is outstanding here. It settles with piano before 9 minutes. Abrasive guitar follows as piano continues.Terje is lighting it up here. What a way to start ! "Rainbow" is a funny title for such a spooky track. An eerie atmosphere falls on this soundscape and it doesn't leave. Different sounds come and go including flute on this 7 minute ride into darkness.

"Electric Fantasy" opens with atmosphere. Drums, bass and haunting female vocal melodies after a minute.The vocals are repeated over and over. Very cool sounding. Guitar, bass and keys before 9 minutes then Terje starts to rip it up 10 1/2 minutes in. Vocal melodies are back 13 1/2 minutes in. "Lontano II" is dark with creepy sounds coming and going. "Tough Enough" has this guitar melody that is repeated on and off until the guitar starts to solo after 2 minutes. The bass is prominant too. It then settles back 3 1/2 minutes in. This is my least favourite track and almost feels like it doesn't belong.

Min Bul - 1970 - Min Bul

Min Bul 
Min Bul

01. I Cried A Mllion Tears Last Night     6:16
02. Invocation     4:10
03. Champagne Of Course     11:05
04. Ved Sørevatn     5:56
05. Nøtteliten     7:35
06. Strange Beauty     5:45

Terje Rypdal (guitar)
Bjørnar Andresen (bass)
Espen Rud (drums)

"Min Bul", came out in 1970 and stayed in the shade till now. But still, many of Rypdal's fans don't know this album even exists. It is so incredible rare.

It's a pity, "Min Bul" is a highly experimental work for its time. On this album, a Norwegian guitar-bass-drums trio lead by Terje plays electric, often scratchy and even noisy fusion on the edge of avant garde jazz. The nearest work to compare to is probably Miles Davis' "A Tribute to Jack Johnson" , but it was released a year later!

This album's opener, "I Cried A Million Tears Last Night", is one of the very early prototypes of NY downtown noisy guitar avant-garde that would be coming many years later. Probably nowadays, listeners might find some of the album's moments a bit dated, but it is undoubtedly a valuable historical release.

Terje Rypdal - 1968 - Bleak House

Terje Rypdal
Bleak House

01. Dead Man´s Tale (7:03)
02. Wes (4:15)
03. Winter Serenade (6:04)
 a) Falling Snow
 b) Snow Storm
 c) Melting Snow
04. Bleak House (7:05)
05. Sonority (5:21)
06. A Feeling Of Harmony (2:29)

Bass - Terje Venaas (tracks: A2 to B2)
Drums - Jon Christensen (tracks: A2 to B2) , Tom Karlsen (tracks: A1)
Guitar, Flute, Vocals - Terje Rypdal
Horns [Horn] - Frøydis Ree Hauge (tracks: B2, B3) , Odd Ulleberg (tracks: B2, B3)
Piano, Organ - Christian Reim (tracks: 3, 5)
Saxophone [Alto], Flute - Carl Magnus Neumann* (tracks: 2,5)
Saxophone [Baritone] - Hans Knudsen (2) (tracks: 2, 5)
Saxophone [Tenor] - Knut Riisnæs (tracks: 3)
Saxophone [Tenor], Flute, Bells - Jan Garbarek (tracks: 2, 5)
Trombone - Frode Thingnæs (tracks: 4, 5) , Kjell Haugen (tracks: 2, 4, 5) Tore Nilsen (tracks: 2) , Øivind Westby (track: 2)
Trumpet - Ditlef Eckhoff (track: 2) , Jarl Johansen (tracks: 2 to 5) , Kåre Furuholmen (tracks: 2, 4)
Tuba - Frode Thingnæs (tracks: 4, 5)

Recorded on Oct 7th, 8th and 22nd 1968, at Roger Arnhoff Lydstudio, Oslo, Norway.

erje Rypdal was born in Oslo, August 23rd 1947. He is known as one of the leading modern jazz guitarists in Europe. At the same time he is regarded to be an outstanding composer of contemporary art music. Rypdal has has a multifarious musical career since he started his pop band "The Vanguards" in the 1960'ies. He later started up "Dream" where his interest for jazz was awakened. In 1969 he joined the Jan Garbarek Quartet. At the same time he even played in George Russell's Sextet and big band. Rypdal has up through the years composed numerous jazz compositions for own as well as other groups.

Terje Rypdal played the piano from he was five years old, and started up with guitar from the age of 13. As a guitaist he is selftaught. He has studied musicology at the University in Oslo. During the years 1970-72 he studied composition with Finn Mortensen at the Music Conservatory in Oslo (Later the Norwegian State Academy of Music). He has also studied improvisation with George Russell.

As a composer Rypdal received his first impulses from Ligeti, Penderecki and Mahler and he soon developed his own style. His début as a composer was with "Eternal Circulation" (1971), performed with Jan Garbarek Quartet and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Among his works can be mentioned: Symphony No. 1 (1975) commissioned by the Norwegian Television. His opera "Orfeo Turns Around and Watches Eurydice", premiered in 1972 at the Henie Onstad Art Centre outside Oslo. For the American bass player Barre Phillipps we wrote his "Concerto per violbasso e orchestra" (1973). His violin concerto "Undisonus" received the prize "Work of the Year" by the Society of Norwegian Composers. He has composed five symphonies, several works for solo instruments with orchestra, two operas and a large number of contemporary works with participation of jazz musicians.

Terje Rypdal's compositions witness his versatile musical work, his rich imagination and solid knowledge. One can find poetic moments with an almost impressionistic colour as well as constellations of sound with elements from jazz, late romanticism and avantgardism. In addition to his large production of modern art music he has also a great number of jazz and rock compositions.

Those of you who know Rypdal's usual works will be in for quite surprise with this debut album, Bleak House released in early 69 on the Polydor label, and it is quite different to his later works with the ECM label. Indeed, this album's line-up is mostly made from local Norwegian musicians (although I detect a few Danish or German names), of which only Garbarek and Terje are the familiar names to an international crowd. You'll also find some excellent (and rather unusual for jazz) Hammond organ, some vocals, and a fairly large horn section, used somewhat sparingly. Rather strange when you know Terje's late-70's albums, right?

The opening 7-mins Dead Man Tale is a mid-tempo blues loaded with Hammond's organ, Terje's lungs both belting out a soft vocal and an enchanting flute. He 4-mins Wes is more of a big band affair, with some massive horn section sounds, a Reinhardt-ian guitar and some enthralling rhythms. The three-parts Winter Serenade is in contrast a very different affair, so quiet in its Falling Snow movement, with only Terje's guitar and Reim's piano. When Garbarek and Neumann's saxophones enter the piece, chaos and mayhem appear, indeed hinting at the Snow Storm movement. The suite ends calmly as the Snow Melts gently with Reim's piano. Great stuff.

On the flipside, the 7-mins title track is an absolutely amazing mid-tempo big band piece, starting gently with the horn section providing great answers to Rypdal wild but restrained electric guitar. It's not long before the horns take up the whole back space, before Terje's guitar goes for some heroics, never too strident, leaving some space for Garbrek's dramatic sax solo, and then taking football all the way down the rest of the track to the end zone for an amazing touchdown. Fantastic stuff, even if you wished some slight chord changes in the brass arrangements. The soft big-band Sonority is a slow-paced gentle track, where Rypdal's sleepy guitar weeps gently from you speakers. Closing the album, Terje scats gently A Feeling Of Harmony all alone, his acoustic guitar, his sole voice and his gentle flute.

A little short an album, this generally overlooked album is one of Terje's less representative albums, but it doesn't make it anyless essential a listen. If one day you datre your buddies with a "blind" test, you might just find Bleak House will probably fill your own house with plenty of laughter and surprise.