|Rymden — Reflections & Odysseys (8 Feb. 2019)
Rymden — Reflections & Odysseys (8 Feb. 2019)Location: Oslo, Norway
Album release: 8 Feb. 2019
Record Label: Jazzland Recordings
02 The Odyssey
03 The Peacemaker
05 The Lugubrious Youth Of Lucky Luke
06 The Celestial Dog And The Funeral Ship
08 Råk~The Abyss
°− Bugge Wesseltoft: piano, keyboards;
°− Dan Berglund: bass;
°− Magnus Öström: drums.
°− ‘Reflections & Odysseys’ is the debut album by a veritable European jazz supergroup that sees pianist Bugge Wesseltoft return to the piano trio format with the Swedish rhythm section of Magnus Öström and Dan Berglund, who shot to fame as two~thirds of the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (e.s.t.).
°− Bugge’s group the New Conception of Jazz and e.s.t. moved in different orbits around the same musical planet and produced some of the best recorded music and performances that spanned the ‘90s into the new millennium. The influence of both groups was profound and can still be seen and heard today in the emerging young talents from Scandinavia and beyond, many of whom have found encouragement and a home on Wesseltoft’s Jazzland Recordings label. e.s.t. remain regarded as one of the best live acts of the era, and they hold their position as the most successful artist on the Munich~based ACT record label.
°− That a crossover between these two powerhouses of 21st century of European jazz should occur is not surprising, although perhaps long overdue. With the formation of Rymden (meaning “space” — as in “outer space” or “universe”), we are presented with a music that is innately Scandinavian in mood and attitude.
°− This is music that reflects all aspects of the Scandinavian milieu of the 21st century, filled with rugged dynamism, extended playing techniques, brooding or melancholic atmospheres. It offers cinematic and epic sounds, cascading drama, crashing and splashing, tension and release. It delivers melodic, high~octane unison riffs, Minimalism immersed in rich improvised tapestries, vocal doubling of melodies, and moments of growling menace. Rymden does this with minimal electronic trickery, with Wesseltoft moving between piano and Rhodes, and Berglund and Öström coaxing just about every possible sound from their instruments.
°− “Wesseltoft is really at home here, creatively shifting around sci~fi like synth~centred soundscapes, tastefully funky Fender Rhodes and meditative acoustic piano. The tunes are well~crafted with ‘Råk’ a highlight.” — **** Jazzwise
°− “There’s a heady sense of exploration here...a reminder of how good Öström and Berglund are together, marrying jazz with rock, electronica and dance grooves.” — **** The Times
By ROGER FARBEY, February 8, 2019
°− Is it mere coincidence, or fate, that Bugge Wesseltoft and the late Esbjorn Svensson were both born in the same quarter of 1964? More to the point, Wesseltoft, having effectively merged his New Conception of Jazz with the two surviving members of Svensson’s e.s.t., has now hatched a veritable Scandinavian supergroup. The formation of Rymden is a welcome move since it provides an excellent vehicle for Wesseltoft and the virtuoso rhythm section of bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus Öström.
°− The opening “Reflections” is a short soundscape to whet the appetite, segueing seamlessly into the melodramatic power chords of “The Odyssey,” which acts as a perfect blueprint for the rest of the album by demonstrating how tightly this new trio gels. Three more short reflections each feature a member of the trio: “The Peacemaker” is Berglund’s baby, “Råk~The Abyss” is Öström’s electronically~embellished thunderous solo, and “Orbiting” spotlights Wesseltoft’s adroit piano. °− There is a noticeable shift of emphasis on the urgent “Pitter Patter,” with Wesseltoft now making a transient deviation to electric piano for a compulsive net effect. While this isn’t necessarily representative of the whole album, it is a killer track.
°− Wesseltoft returns to acoustic piano for Öström’s “The Lugubrious Youth of Lucky Luke,” a languid excursion benefitting from a memorably lyrical melody and showcasing Berglund’s dextrous pizzicato bass solo. Wesseltoft’s “The Celestial Dog And The Funeral Ship,” with its sparse military snare beats and Berglund’s plaintive arco bass, is riven with poignancy from the composer’s evocative piano lines. Öström’s elegiac “Bergen” is more evidence of the success of the sonic coalescence of these three musicians. The album concludes with Wesseltoft’s gently moving “Homegrown” and the trio still playing with surgical surety and breathtaking elegance. If Rymden suggests the way forward for this trio, then the future looks very bright. — AllAboutJazz • https://www.allaboutjazz.com/
|Rymden — Reflections & Odysseys (8 Feb. 2019)