Thursday, September 02, 2010

Terje Rypdal - Crime Scene (ECM, 2010)

If you've read this blog for a while you know that besides music, I'm really into crime fiction as well. This fascinating album combines both genres, taking some noirish jazz-rock with occasional big band overtones and adding dialogue clips from classic crime films like The Godfather and Taxi Driver. As an homage to noir cinema and the possibilities of music and film, it is a splendid success. Guitarist and composer Rypdal is joined by Palle Mikkelborg on trumpet, Paolo Vinaccia on drums, and Stale Storlokken on Hammond B3 organ with the Bergen Big Band providing the extra heft. The opening track, "Clint - The Menace" sets the tone for the album with the gravelly voice of Clint Eastwood and a snippet from Marlon Brando over low reeds. Music takes center stage with "Prime Suspects" with fast Coltrane-ish saxophones weaving anxious and raw swathes of sound. Swirling organ keeps the action edgy, and the saxophones build in deep. Rypdal joins in the fun and energetically propels the music to its climax. "Don Rypero" keeps the stinging guitar moving briskly in a trio setting developing muscular and exciting jazz-rock culminating in some nasty skronk that would make Sonny Sharrock fans smile. Storlokken takes center stage on "Suspicious Behavior" with swirling organ, adding a filling intensity with the grinding organ and drums keeping things hot. Mikkelborg's trumpet keeps the music moving well with uptempo electric Miles Davis inspired smears of musical color. Things slow back down with the dialogue centered "Parli Con Me" with tough guys like Robert DeNiro intoning famous lines over a funky beat. "The Criminals" and "Action" ramps the music back up with the former featuring strong saxophones jousting and turning deep and free over organ and drums. The latter has throbbing bass and guitar screeching with an electric sheet metal sound, developing a very cool driving fusion. The lengthy and atmospheric "It Has Not Been Written Yet" takes a little patience developing a very cinematic sound with light and spare horns evolving to spacey guitar and trumpet with movie dialogue snippets bubbling up through the mix. "Investigation" adds one last burst of color with funky drums and trumpet developing a full and strong groove. The is was a very nice and consistently interesting multi-media experiment. It would be fascinating to see Rypdal develop this even further live with clips from famous films and a live band. Lots of potential here and a very fun album for open-minded jazz fans. Crime Scene - amazon.vom

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