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Seim, Trygve/Andreas Utnem: Purcor Songs for Saxophone and Piano

Let me get this out of the way quickly - Trygve Seim is a fantastic saxophone player. Inspired by the likes of Jan Garbarek , Miles Davis, Edward Vesala and his interest in Asian flute music, has all helped to shape his melodic sensibilities. He was born in Oslo in 1971 and began playing the saxophone at the age of 14. Whether dabbling in free form music or taking a more conventional compositional approach his playing is wonderful. In 1993 he formed The Source, a quartet firmly rooted in the free form approach. He has 6 ECM releases to his credit.

Pianist and composer Andreas Utnem was born in 1973 and like Seim is an accomplished musician in his own right. In the mid-90s, while doing work for Norway's Church City Mission foundation he invited Seim to play with him at various services. The players began to develop their own unique improvised versions of the psalms and also added their own compositions. In 2008, after many years of playing together the pair decided it was time to record the music they had made the past few years. The result is the 2010 release Purcor - Songs for Saxophone and Piano, Utmen's first effort for ECM.

These two musicians play wonderfully together, a perfect match if you will and there years playing together has paid off in spades. This is beautiful music; richly melodic and exudes pure class from the first song to the last. Utnem's piano lines are often slow and deliberate, as he has great control of his instrument. His piano work has a somber quality and his melodic lines exude a mournful vibe at times although I never found his playing to be depressing or overly morose. Seim also plays the harmonium adding another textural layer to the sometimes sparse arrangements.

This is a solid album with no one piece sticking out as I like them all. The duo also provides three improvised pieces starting with "Praeludium, Improvisation" with slow rollicking piano and lush harmonium followed by "Gloria, Improvisation" with its gorgeous melody and Eastern tinged saxophone. The last improvised piece is "Postludium, Improvisation" with lovely sustained sax notes over a backdrop of harmonium drenched soundscapes. These pieces reflect the duo's unique talent for combining improvisation with some wonderful melodies.

As with all ECM releases the sound is excellent and you are guaranteed a solid production. If you dig piano and sax I can think of no better place to start than with Purcor - Songs for Saxophone and Piano. Enjoy!

Track Listing:
1. Kyrie
2. Nu Seglar Vi Inn
3. Praeludium, Improvisation
4. Purcor
5. Responsorium
6. Credo
7. Pater Noster
8. Bhavana
9. Gloria, Improvisation
10. Solrenning
11. 312
12. Agnus Dei
13. Postludium, Improvisation
14. Nr Mitt ye Trett Av Mye

Added: January 23rd 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1773
Language: english

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