Saturday, 30 July 2016
Lars Klevstrand / Guttorm Guttormsen Kvintett in 1978's Høysang from Norway
It gives me such a such a feeling of joy to discover a treasure like this; magnified then by the chance to share it with others who might have a fertile openness to it.
If anyone recalls the album I once posted by Wisse Scheper, Topaz, or the Stefan Nilsson poetry collaboration with Tommy Korberg, Blixtlås - Svensk 70-Tals Poesi from the infant days of this blog, this is very similar, with well-composed and uniquely interesting folky-jazzy songs, mostly piano-based, composed with very high maturity and skill.
The singer and majority composer here (and genius!) is Lars Klevstrand himself, who has quite a discography (he sits far left on the verso scan). In the band he plays guitar, while the amazing piano work is by Jon Balke, also a composer in the credits. How sad they are unknown to the world at large (perhaps not in Norway).
I love how the chords, although slightly conventional, passing from tonic in G to C, then the descending pattern: F to E bass for C, Eflat, D bass for G, are played with such delicatesse by the guitar and curlicued piano accompaniment. Stay tuned till the bridge where a surprising modulation to tonic A major occurs, and subsequently the coda, which uses the Bminor to E7 springboard to launch into F major, then to Aflat under Fminor, to close out into a new tonic of C! Not an overly complex number but quite enjoyably pretty.
The title track that commences side 2 will really blow you away, unfortunately it's too long to quote here, but stay tuned for that one when you shoot through this, with its myriad turns around the corners from jazz to pop, to a more playful Spanish tempo. Really stunning tergiversations, and I sure wish I could understand of what Lars is crooning. Maybe someone out there could help me, there's something about Angelina, obviously not Jolie, thank god, and an anaconda. Gotta love those snakes.
But I wanted also to present the penultimate track as an example of how outrageously thoughtful these artists can be. Really, as a once wannabe musician, I can't even begin to understand how they thought up these ideas, and so what hope does google's "deep mind" AI have? In particular, those opening chords are not just hard to analyze, but I have trouble even understanding how they can connect together and retain such a harmonious movement:
This one is a composition by Espen Rud, btw. (Who???)
Of course, this music, with its amalgamation of folk, jazz, pop-like songs and even choral (on the last track) didn't really stand a chance, did it?