Nordic Quartet

Karin Krog / Terje Rypdal / Vigleik Storaas / John Surman

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Nordic Quartet Review

by Scott Yanow

This ECM CD is only a mixed success. John Surman is the lead voice most of the way and his playing (particularly on baritone and bass clarinet) is typically atmospheric and emotional. However, singer Karin Krog (who is on around half of the songs) only makes an impression on the closing "Wild Bird"; otherwise her long tones sound out of place. Pianist Vigleik Storaas is mostly used in an accompanying role while guitarist Terje Rypdal's feedback-dominated tone is primarily utilized for color. The group never really meshes their disparate voices together and few of the spacey (and sometimes meandering) group originals other than "Wild Bird" are at all memorable. All of the principals have sounded better elsewhere.

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