Ketil Bjørnstad & Terje Rypdal: The Sea V
Recorded: Live at Leipzig Opera, October 14, 2005
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
This composition starts with booming tone clusters flying out of the bass end of the piano soundboard, more an aural earthquake than a melody. Then Bjørnstad shifts gears completely, offering up a dose of the 19th-century parlor music that apparently passes for jazz in his mind. But things get very interesting when Rypdal enters with a majestic solo on electric guitar, angry and wistful at the same time. The last three minutes of this eight-minute track are sublime, both players contributing to the potent mood. The Nordic wail, melancholy and transcendent, represents its own distinct jazz idiom, and it comes to the fore in the climax of this quintessential ECM performance.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia