Terje Rypdal / Miroslav Vitous / Jack DeJohnette

Terje Rypdal/Miroslav Vitous/Jack DeJohnette

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An otherworldly soundscape of aching beauty, this album is a must-have for aficionados of any member of this trio. Rypdal's guitar is hauntingly reverbed and distant throughout, though occasionally on "Seasons" he becomes too fond of caterwauling guitar synth. But this is truly an effort of trio fusion, with ineffable pieces like "Den Forste Sne" ("The First Snow") appearing and melting away without any tangible solos or structure. From the opening cymbal strikes of "Sunrise," this album is marked by DeJohnette's best drumming on record; his cymbal sound, pushed to the front and recorded with mikes both above and below the cymbal's bell -- "because that's how the drummer hears it" -- is nothing short of revelatory. Vitous' bass steadies Rypdal's flights of fancy, while his subtle electric piano lines float above. These elements combine most powerfully in "Believer," which builds from atmospheric shimmers of electric piano into a whorl of bass and plaintive guitar set against the dry rasp of resonating cymbals.

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