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Seim, Trygve: Rumi Songs

Norwegian saxophonist Trygve Seim has teamed up with vocalist Tora Augestad, accordion player Frode Haltli, and cellist/bassist Svante Henryson for Rumi Songs, his latest release for ECM Records which utilizes the poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi and sets it within a haunting framework of jazz, folk, classical, and chamber music. Using the contemporary English-language versions of Coleman Barks as his source texts, Seim has unleashed Augestad's angelic delivery to weave the lyrical imagery here, supported by wispy, understated musical accompaniment. Though both Henryson and Haltli make their presence felt, it's mainly Seim & Augestad's show here on Rumi Songs, the lovely vocalist soaring to the heavens while Seim weaves sultry, smoky melody lines on such gorgeous pieces as "Across the Doorsill", "In Your Beauty", and "Seeing Double". On "The Guest House", the yearning strains of Haltli's accordion provides a somber backdrop to Augestad's angelic crooning, and the pairing of Henryson's staccato cello bursts with Seim's airy sax adds an ethnic flair to "When I See Your Face".

An album of this nature does have its drawback, and that is that the tone of the album doesn't change much from track to track, so don't look for much in the way of upbeat material on Rumi Songs. This is fairly mellow, tranquil, but also melodic music, straddling that fine line between jazz, classical, chamber, and folk styles, but never veering off too far into any one of them. Lovely vocals and understated yet crisp musicianship permeates the entire album, making Rumi Songs a very different listening experience but certainly a classy one, and we wouldn't expect anything less from the always dependable folks at ECM Records.

Track Listing
01 In Your Beauty
02 Seeing Double
03 Across the Doorsill
04 The Guest House
05 Leaving My Self
06 When I See Your Face
07 Like Every Other Day
08 The Drunk and the Madman
09 Whirling Rhythms
10 There Is Some Kiss We Want

Added: August 21st 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ECM Records
Hits: 1506
Language: english

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