Reviews RCD2194

If you were to extend the line that starts with Hank B. Marvin beyond Rypdal, you would find people like David Torn, Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, Henry Kaiser, Jim O’Rourke, Hedvig Mollestad, Reine Fiske, Even Helte Hermansen, Raoul Björkenheim and Hans Magnus Ryan. All of those are involved in a new album called Sky Music: A Tribute to Terje Rypdal, released on the Oslo-based Rune Grammofon label. Again, Rypdal’s themes provide the basis. Frisell opens with a lovely meditation on “Ørnen”, Cline creates a lyrical meditation on “What Comes After” with the cellist Erik Friedlander, and Torn displays his extended techniques to fine effect on “Avskjed”. These are all wonderful. But it is the group performances that steal the show. Supported by Storløkken, the bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and the drummer Gard Nilsen, the guitar squadron of Mollestad, Fiske, Kaiser, Hermansen, Bjorkenheim and Ryan — in various combinations, but mostly all at once — attack such pieces as “Silver Bird Heads for the Sun”, “Chaser” and a dramatic medley of “Tough Enough” and “Rolling Stone” with verve and devotion. My favourite track also carries the most appropriate title: “Warning: Electric Guitars”. The result is heavier, in every sense, than the heaviest metal, while being enormously creative and totally exhilarating. The album was conceived by Kaiser in collaboration with Rune Kristofferson, the founder of Rune Grammofon. I can’t recommend it too highly, particularly to anyone who has previously been touched by Rypdal’s work — or, more generally, to anyone with an interest in guitar music.
Richard Williams, Thebluemoment (UK)

Californian guitarist Henry Kaiser, a longterm Rypdal fan and a highly effective catalyst for meaningful homage and dream-team scenarios, has conceived and produced Sky Music as a 70th birthday gift for the inspirational Norwegian. Kaiser assembled an appropriately stellar line-up to interpret afresh and bring their own stamp to a programme of Rypdal compositions. The opening track homes in on his flowing romanticism and lyrical leanings, as Bill Frisell brings his own tremulous slant to "Ornen", a reflective evocation of an eagle that appeared initially on Rypdal's album Chaser. The presence of Frisell, tightly focused, harmonically idiosyncratic and simply unmistakable, establishes the character and calibre of this tribute: no hint of pallid imitation, but one creative musician with an indelible identity honouring another. A later solo finds David Torn giving a remarkable and no less personalised overhaul to "Avskjed (Farewell)". Torn's ingenious use of electronic effects compensates for the absence of the organ, glockenspiel and muted trumpet that augmented Rypdal's guitar on the original, late 70s ensemble piece. On the 1973 recording of "What Comes After", Rypdal's emotive playing was shadowed by bowed bass, courtesy of that ever-resourceful improvisor Barre Phillips. Here Wilco's Nels Cline revisits that composition, drawing out its uneasy introspection with eloquent assistance from Erik Friedlander on cello. Sky Music also includes a brooding and vaguely spooky keyboard medley performed by Supersilent's Stale Storlokken, a seasoned collaborator in Rypdal's own projects. As atmospheric and echoey as a moonlit fjord, it introduces two previously unrecorded pieces, indicatively entitled "Into The Wilderness" and Out Of This World". Still it's the expanded group workouts, the blistering interplay of massed guitars and hefty musicianship that will really cry out to questers after six-stringed bliss, and set them salivating. If Mountains Could Sing was a title Rypdal chose for a mid-90s ECM release and Kaiser's Scandinavian jam session offers a fair approximation of how that towering chorale might sound. He is joined by Dungen's Reine Fiske, Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen, Even Helte Hermansen and Raoul Bjorkenheim. Motorpsycho's Hans Magnus Ryan also puts in an appearance. With help from Storlekken's keyboards, and supported by the titanic pulse of bassist lngebrigt Haker Flaten and the volcanic drumming of Gard Nilssen, these "children of Rypdal", as Kaiser calls them, surge skywards, lend their collective voice to the high peaks and cascade through acoustic space like a gleaming chromium waterfall. This thrilling saga is continued on the vinyl-only second volume, which preserves two lengthy outtakes. It's more diffuse yet still compelling to hear and a fitting tribute. Fiske and Mollestad trade glacial licks on "Icing"; Kaiser, Bjorkenheim, Hermansen and Ryan clamber over more rugged terrain on "Fillmore 76", chasing the spirit of a piece Rypdal performed during a 1978 session for a Stockholm radio station. Rypdal has spoken of a sense of belonging to nature that pervades all his work. That kind of extra-musical influence is invariably elusive or exclusive, but Kaiser and company have taken the surest route to connect with that source, making exhilarating music that looks to a persistent solar glow in the wide northern sky.
The Wire (UK)

You may have heard the name Terje Rypdal, but not really know the six-string legend or his music. For close to 50 years, Rypdal was a major force in Europe, pushing the lines between rock improv, jazz-rock, ambient, and experimental styles — even mixing in prog and psychedelia. This two-CD/LP tribute set was conceived by avant guitarist Henry Kaiser as a 70th birthday present for Rypdal, and deploys no fewer than 10 American and Scandinavian guitarists to honor the Norwegian master. Bill Frisell's opener, ”Ørnen," is a solo electric piece with arpeggios, a fat tone, and tremolo effects. Next is the ensemble jam "Over Birkerot”/”Silver Bird Heads For The Sun, a serious prog-fusion jam that lets a number of Nordic monsters loose, including Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen, Reine Fiske and Raoul Björkenheim. They're all tremendous players and this 14-minute track is barnburnin` proof. "Chaser" is a butt-kicking rock instrumental featuring the three plus Kaiser. There are multiple solos, from raging echo-fueled bends to pitch-shifted shred. "What Comes After" brings aboard one of Rypdal's best-known adherents, Nels Cline, who adds guitar, bass, loops, and updates the original 1973 into a modern classical masterpiece. Another disciple, David Torn, takes on "Avskjed," using his guitar to sound like a demented musical box before weaving in haunting chordal work. "Warning: Electric Guitars" is a swinging freak-out with psycho whammy and modal runs from the four-guitar army of Kaiser, Fiske, Thomassen, and Björkenheim. It's wild and chaotic, but always musical, which speaks to Rypdal's genius for melody and feel. "Sunrise" introduces Jim O'Rourke and his array of pedal steel, guitar synth, and acoustic parts, along with Thomassen's electric. This track captures Terje's atmospheric magic, as the composition doesn't sit squarely in any single musical style. It embraces them all — and at once. Surely, Sky Music will make you want to dig into Rypdal's catalog, but it´s also a powerhouse recording in its own right. The musicians brought their A-game and the result is a grand guitarfest. If you like exploratory playing that´s still musical and moving, grab this tribute with confidence.
Vintage Guitar (US)

For fans of loud electric guitaring in Seventies Britain there was the bluesrock wailing of Clapton, Page and Beck to enjoy, while the lightning manoeuvres of John McLaughlin and Allan Holdsworth singed the beards of jazzier types. In Norway Terje Rypdal covered all the bases, moving from pop to rock to jazz. (Later he would compose symphonies in modern classical style.) A star in Scandinavia, Rypdal also won a cult reputation among progressive players in Britain and America, which is why various American guitarists — Bill Frisell, David Torn, Jim O’Rourke and Nels Cline of Wilco — have joined this Norwegian celebration of Rypdal’s work to mark his 70th birthday. For fans of hairy guitar-wrangling it’s a dream: up to six players swoop in and out of the big ensemble pieces, which have the dense textures and headlong momentum of early electric Miles Davis. Chaser, for example, is replete with fat riffs, thick Hammond organ chords and wailing guitar heroics, and just to complete the Seventies space-jam feel, the eerie sound of a Mellotron emerges. Silver Bird Heads for the Sun is similarly noisy, retro and remorseless. However, the music is not all high-volume, there are lovely solo meditations from Frisell and Torn. Dream Song is a delicate haze of sound, while Sunrise explores a Robert Fripp-style soundscape. In Britain the massed guitar rave-up will never win a cool contest — too tied to leather and denim head-banging these days. Here the Norwegians turn up the volume with taste. 4/5.
The Times (UK)

Norway´s Terje Rypdal has been rewiring the possibilitis of the guitar since finding his feet with the electric Miles-marinated blues-rock of 1973´s What Comes After for ECM, gaining fierce respect from his peers and building a rabid cult following among experimental music devotees. This collection of  catalogue highlights covered by Scandinavian axe heroes and bastions of US music such as Jim O'Rourke and Bill Frisell was organised by veteran guitarist Henry Kaiser and Rypdal's long-time keyboardist previously Ståle Storløkken for Terje's 70th birthday. Beautifully annotated by David Fricke, the programme Mondays sit starts with Frisell reflecting Rypdal´s early hero Hank Marvin on Ørnen before Kaiser leads the Scandi massive on epic jazz-rock cosmic jams around Over Birkerot/Silver Bird Heads For The Sun and the prog-hacking Chaser. What Comes After is eerily reinterpreted by Erik Friedlander's cello before the ensemble kick off again with the aptly-named Warning: Electric Guitars. Even using the medley approach, this rip-roaring arkestra only scrape the tip of Rypdal's mighty iceberg but, by the closing volley of Storløkken's Dream Song/Into The Wilderness/Out Of This World and O'Rourke's otherworldly guitar-synth serenade to Sunrise, have pulled their mission off beautifully and given the man an audio birthday cake beyond anything even he could have imagined. 4/5.
Record Collector (UK)

The stark melodies, chilly atmospheres and spacious ensemble arrangements on Terje Rypdal's recordings from the 1970s make him an early architect of the ECM sound. He's a bona fide star in his native Norway, but fair-sized chunks of his discography have never been released outside of Europe, and some have never made it to CD at all. Mindful that Rypdal would turn 70 this year on Aug. 23, American guitarist Henry Kaiser recruited a large squad of fellow admirers and associates to honor the man by recording his tunes. Kaiser has recorded tributes to musicians as dissimilar as Derek Bailey and Miles Davis, and has collaborated with traditional musicians from Korea and Madagascar, as stiles music-savvy scientists at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. He has the management skills necessary to pull off such a project. Nearly half of the album's tracks feature between four and six guitarists apiece; some play the melody, some get solos, some add decorative flourish.. But the album's best moments come when the committee approach is set aside. Performing solo, Bill Frisell amplifies the latent, bucolic lyricism of ”Ørnen" by paring the tune back to its essence. And Jim O'Rourke's talents as a framer of other musicians brings out the best from bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and guitarists Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen and Reine Fiske on "Sunrise."
Downbeat (US)

One can tell a lot by a person’s friends. In the case of Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal, those names are well known: Russell, Garbarek, DeJohnette, Surman, Vitous. But one can learn just as much by those who are friends from afar, so to speak. To mark Rypdal’s 70th birthday last August, American guitarist Henry Kaiser and Norwegian imprint Rune Grammofon collaborated to produce a loving tribute to Rypdal, featuring music from his vast ECM catalogue (and two new compositions) interpreted by a multi-generational and international cast of performers. It was released as a single CD or double LP as well as in boxed set fashion with the two LPs and a second volume of sidelong pieces. The many facets of Rypdal are on display right from the start, with the wide contrast between Bill Frisell’s pastoral solo take on “Ørnen” (from 1985’s Chaser) to the medley of mid ‘70s fusion burners “Over Birkerot” and “Silverbird Heads for the Sun” (from 1975’s Odyssey and 1976’s Whenever I Seem To Be Far Away, respectively) by five guitarists (Kaiser, Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen, Raoul Björkenheim, Reine Fiske and Even Helte Hermansen) plus keyboard player Ståle Storløkken, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Gard Nilssen. Variations of the latter band blaze through the title track of the aforementioned Chaser; “Warning: Electric Guitars”, the one non-ECM track from 1993-94’s Rypdal & Tekrø (BMG); and a sandwich of “Tough Enough/Rolling Stone/Tough Enough” from Odyssey and Rypdal’s 1971 eponymous ECM debut. In the midst of that is a stunningly ethereal version of the title track from 1973’s What Comes After done in marvelous duo by guitarist Nels Cline and cellist Erik Friedlander. David Torn, possibly the closest guitarist to Rypdal aesthetically on the ECM roster, parlays a solo version of “Avskjed” (Descendre, 1979) with childlike wonder and bluesy filigree while Storløkken plays the new pieces with almost sacred fervor. Thomassen, Fiske, Håker Flaten, Nilssen and Jim O’Rourke (guitars, bass and synth) close out this remarkable festschrift with “Sunrise”, done by the mighty late ‘70s trio of Rypdal, Vitous and DeJohnette.
New York City Jazz Records (US)

Spearheaded by Bay Area guitarist Henry Kaiser, this sprawling compilation pays tribute to a Norwegian guitar hero who has been blurring genre lines for more than 50 years. Though the contributors from the U.S. are enough to merit seeking out — Bill Frisell’s melancholy “Ørnen” and an atmospheric guitar-cello duet from Nels Cline and Erik Friedlander, to name two — it’s the jazz-rock Scandinavian super group that includes members of Dungen, the Thing and Supersilent that burns brightest in showcasing Rypdal’s timeless reach.
LA Times (US)

Since first appearing back in the early 1970s with his collision between electric Miles, avant scrabbling and UK blues-rock, cult hero Terje Rypdal has released over two dozen albums that rewrite the possibilities of the electric guitar in their fearless genre-straddling. This collection of covers by 10 chomping-at-the-bit axe titans (including Jim O'Rourke and Bill Frisell) was put together by veteran American guitarist Henry Kaiser for Rypdal's 70th birthday. With fabulous liner notes by David Fricke, the assembled cast, joined by Terje's long-time keyboardist Stale Storloken, whip up a celebration of the great man's stellar achievements in electronically-driven jazz. Sitting through the stratospheric cosmic joy-rides of 'Over Birkerot'/'Silver Birds Head For The Sun' or 'Chaser' is like being caught in a flying saucer dog fight while riding a one-way roller-coaster to the stars.
Electronic Sound (UK)

A stellar international cast that includes Hedvig Mollestad, David Torn, Jim O'Rourke, Motorpsycho's Snah, Bill Frisell and others feature on Sky Music: A Tribute To Terje Rypdal (Rune Grammofon) They provide a scorching set whose passionate, emotional peaks frequently match those for which the Norwegian maestro of melancholia, now approaching his 70s, is rightly hailed. Startling arrangements of Rypdal's tunes provide the canvas for vivid, saturated colours, nimble, expressive swirls, euphoric patterns and potent exchanges between the ensemble.
Prog (UK)

Also released to coincide with Rypdal's 70th birthday, Sky Music: A Tribute To Terje Rypdal, was masterminded and produced by US experimental axeman and lifelong Rypdal fan Henry Kaiser. Featuring the manifold talents of an all-star Rune Grammofon house band that provides the foundations and framework for a posse of Scandinavian guitarists including Reine Fiske (Dungen) and Hans Magnus Ryan (Motorpsycho) plus players from further afield including Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, Jim O'Rourke and Henry Kaiser himself this collective act of homage illustrates the breadth of Rypdal's influence, both within his native Scandinavia and throughout the international jazz fusion community. Together this impressive gathering of musicians revisit, reinterpret and reconstruct a selection of tracks drawn from across Rypdal's extensive back catalogue including the previously unreleased compositions 'Into The Wilderness' and 'End Of This' and the result is a series of cosmically dimensioned exploratory jams which unravel amid vibrant washes of tonal colour. On top of all this there's also a vinyl-only Vol 2, also on Rune Grammofon, that features two spacily elongated out-takes, 'Icing' and 'Fillmore 76', which, fortunately for all serious Rypdal heads, were deemed just too hot to be left languishing in the tape archive.
Shindig (UK)

Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal has been a major presence in Scandinavian music for over half a century, from his teenage pop-rock combo, The Vanguards, and his psychedelic phase with The Dream, through landmark jazz-rock excursions such as his astonishing 1968 solo debut, Bleak House, work for ECM in the early 1970s and on into ambitious orchestral work. Yet he's never quite received the acclaim he deserves. With this collaborative project, equally unsung US guitar experimentalist Henry Kaiser attempts to set that straight, by inviting a bevvy of musicians connected to the Norwegian Rune Grammofon label to tackle a selection of Rypdal's compositions. There are a few contemplative ruminations here: a typically thoughtful solo piece from Bill Frisell, a surprisingly delicate monologue from Motorpsycho's Hans Magnus Ryan, an ethereal meditation from Supersilent keyboard whizz Stale Storløkken, and a ghostly duet for Erik Friedlander's cello and Nels Cline's guitar loops. But, for the most part, it's a thoroughly satisfying shred-festival, with up to three axe-wielders at a time contributing furious lickage to heavy jazz-rock and modal stompers. The killer rhythm section of Bushman's Revenge drummer Gard Nilssen and The Thing bassist lngebrigt Håker Flaten flex some serious muscle - even when overdubbed on a swooping, wailing, roaring contribution phoned in from Japan by Jim O'Rourke. File under: blistered fingers.
Jazzwise (UK)

The complexity of this recording goes far beyond the ability to analyse it here. Recorded to celebrate Rypdal´s 70th birthday, it is not the usual tribute, and not a usual choice of guitarists either. Ten must somehow co-operate, on top of which we have Håker Flaten on bass, Gard Nilssen on drums and Stale Storløkken (the only musician who was actually a part of Terje’s groups) on keyboards. The opening track Ørnen (from the 1985 ECM LP Chaser) is played by Bill Frisell, and is the test illustration of Rypdal´s composing capabilities. One might not recognise the original, but will immediately know who's playing it. Chaser, from the same LP, is a more complex rocking interpretation involving five guitarists. A psychedelic tirade that reminds one of early Pink Floyd sessions, it must be heard to be understood. Not all of us are aware that Rypdal was not only playing the jazz, but also rock, psychedelia and metal type material in his native Norway. In 1996 the American GUITAR magazine included Terje Rypdal in a Top 15 of 'The Best Guitarists You've Never Heard About'. Vinyl fans might note that Vol 2 of this recording has outtakes which didn't fit on the CD but are too good to be left on shelf.
HiFi Critic (UK)

And speaking of tributes to out-of-the-box guitar figures, Sky Music celebrates the music of Terje Rypdal, a staple of the ECM Records lineup for many years, and a singular jazz stylist. This album was released as Rypdal turned 70, and it featured a large lineup of guitarists and other supporting players. Most are fellow Scandinavians, but the album opens with Bill Frisell’s beautiful and contemplative take on “Ørnen,” and there are also appearances by Henry Kaiser, Nelson Cline, and David Torn. Much of the music is intense and challenging, but there are soaringly beautiful moments of lyricism as well. A must for any library supporting jazz guitar pedagogy.
CD Hotlist (US)

The majority of the tracks revolve around sessions anchored by Kaiser and a Norwegian rhythm section comprised of bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (the Thing, Atomic, Scorch Trio, his own U.S.-based bands), keyboardist Ståle Storløkken (Supersilent, Elephant9, Rypdal himself) and drummer Gard Nilssen (Bushman’s Revenge). Leaning into Rypdal’s 70s work, when the axeman was one of the few fusioneers to work with the abstract palette of Bitches Brew rather than the funk and rock-oriented sounds that garnered commercial success, the rhythm section recruits five additional guitarists for medleys from the far side of the sun. Hedvig Mollestad Trio’s namesake Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen, Dungen’s Reine Fiske, Bushman’s Revenge’s Even Helte Hermansen and Scorch Trio’s Raoul Björkenheim trade licks, solos and fills with Kaiser on “Over Birkerot/Silver Bird Heads For the Sun” and “Tough Enough/Rolling Stone/Tough Enough,” adding Motorpsycho’s Hans Magnus Ryan on the latter. It’s no decapitation fest, however – the musicians aim their six-string spray at the walls, not each other, resulting in riots of color that still stay within frame. Kaiser, Thomassen and Hermansen attack the appropriately-named “Warning: Electric Guitars” with gusto, the track’s shorter length giving it immediate impact. Storløkken also gets a solo showcase with the near-ambient “Dream Song/Into the Wilderness/Out of This World.” Though not present for these sessions, other Americans besides Kaiser get in on the fun. Guitarist Bill Frisell opens the album with the atmospheric “Ørnen,” fellow axe god Nels Cline and cellist Erik Friedlander paint a gorgeous picture of “What Comes After,” and avant-guitarist David Torn sinks into beauty with “Avskjed.” (Torn and Frisell started their careers on ECM Records, Rypdal’s label home for four decades.) Experimental rocker Jim O’Rourke also weighs in, contributing pedal steel and guitar synthesizer, among other things, to the Scandinavian band’s propulsive psychedelic take on “Sunrise. ”Given both the passion behind the performances and the names at play, it’s clear that Rypdal commands respect in the circles of beloved creative improvisers. Perhaps Sky Music will lead some non-musician fans to his music as well.
Blurt (US)

Albumet er en hyllest til musikeren og stilskaperen, og jubilanten har all grunn til å si seg fornøyd med hvem som stiller opp. Tanken om å feire Rypdal på denne måten, kom fra den amerikanske gitaristen Henry Kaiser, som selv har et stort navn på den eksperimentelle scenen. Ideen var å få «the children of Rypdal», som Kaiser kaller dem, til å fortolke et sett med låter fra noen av bursdagsbarnets viktigste album. Vi som har levd med Terje Rypdals musikk et helt lite liv, har klare oppfatninger om mannens låtproduksjon og gitarvirke. Personlig har jeg alltid likt den saktmodige og melodiøse utgaven best. Når gitaren synger og vibratoarmen er med på å styre tonen, kan Rypdal være direkte forførende. Det er derfor «Ørnen» er en av mine favoritter i katalogen. Den er å finne på albumet Chaser fra 1985. På Sky Music er «Ørnen» første spor ut, og det er ingen ringere enn Bill Frisell som spiller. Komposisjonen er et funn for Frisell som fortolker. Den har en vakker melodistemme og et sett akkorder å trives i. Frisell toner ned dramatikken og drar ned høyden på svevene, trekker ut essensen. Spillet er fjærlett, og fuglen får et vingespenn som tangerer originalens. Slik kan bare en optimal hyllest fungere. Måten Bill Frisell legger inn sitt eget, uten å dempe skimmeret i Rypdals perle, er forbilledlig. Etter denne vakre introen i blått, er vi over i et helt annet felt i Terje Rypdals verden. Vi vet jo at han kommer fra rocken og «Over birkerot/Silver Bird Heads For The Sun» som er fra årene 1974-75, har både Hendrix og Miles skrevet inn i seg. Ståle Storløkken, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten og Gard Nilssen legger fundamentet for fem gitarister, og de gjør det med et sprell levende samspill. 2017 er det nye 1970, liksom! Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen, Reine Fiske, Even Helte Hermansen, Henry Kaiser og Raoul Björkenheim har ikke bare gjort gitarleksene sine. De oppretter direkte kontakt med historien og gjør sin egen vektige vri i det sprutende kvarteret de holder på. På «What Comes After» er det Nels Cline som holder gitaren. Mange vil kjenne ham fra Wilco, men Cline har en lang og veldokumentert karrière fra et mer åpent felt også. Sammen med cellist Erik Friedlander ivaretar han grunnideene i komposisjonen samtidig som han setter merke i den. Det gir virkelig en god følelse å oppleve hvordan disse musikerne spiller Rypdal frem. Så er det David Torn som er alene om å gjøre «Avskjed». I likhet med Rypdal har han plass i ECM-stallen, og han er kanskje den av de involverte som stilmessig har mest til felles med nordmannen. Keyboardist Ståle Storløkken som har vært et viktig bandmedlem hos Rypdal de siste årene, bruker nest siste spor til å forme albumets fineste ytterkanter, før selveste Jim O`Rourke glimrer på «Sunrise». Sky Music er et album med høy egenverdi. La oss håpe det vil introdusere 70-åringen for et nytt publikum. 6/6.
Aftenposten (NO)

”Sky Music” er produsert av Henry Kaiser, spilt inn sammen med de nordiske elite-gitaristene Hedvig Mollestad, Reine Fiske, Even Helte Hermansen, Hans Magnus (Snah) Ryan, og Raoul Björkenheim, med Ingebrigt Håker Flaten på bass og Gard Nilssen på trommer, og Rypdals mangeårige medspiller Ståle Storløkken på keyboards. I tillegg til dette kommer noen frittstående spor av internasjonale beundrere. Helt først Bill Frisell i vakre ”Ørnen”, senere Bowie og Sylvian-gitaristen David Torn, Nels Cline et stykke utenfor det han pleier å gjøre i Wilco, og helt til slutt Jim O'Rourke i ”Sunrise”. På papiret ser dette ut som litt for mye av det gode. I praksis blir det en usedvanlig vellykket feiring av en gammel helt. Bandet spiller så gnistrende at vi må slå av all annen strøm i huset for at ikke sikringene skal sprenges. Noe av det flotteste som finnes på det nye albumet er ”Rolling Stone”, også opprinnelig fra Odyssey”. Som både har en uendelig uutgrunnelig vakker gitarintro, går over i et stort monsterriff og kommer tilbake til det stille igjen. Her dessuten rammet inn av ”Tough Enough”, som gjør hele sporet enda mer innholdsrikt. Ensemblet gir seg også i kast med shownummeret ”Warning: Electric Guitars” fra møtet mellom Rypdal og Ronni Le Tekrø. Bare de helt største gitar-fantastene kan vel være sikre på hvem som spiller hva. Dette er lagarbeid på høyt nivå. Og så finnes det faktisk enda mer på et eget vinylalbum, to 19-minutters speisa jammer for de mest eventyrlystne. 5/6.
Dagsavisen (NO)

Hyllestplater pleier være en ganske blandet rosebukett, men her føles det fokusert, og godt løst. Det er det amerikanske kultgitaristen Henry Kaiser som står bak - for gitarister er ”Ryp” en mytisk helteskikkelse. Det er et meget heftig norsk basis-band på de fleste av låtene: Gard Nilssen på trommer, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten på bass og Storløkken på grove tangenter. Det trengs et lass av gitarister for å fullbyrde letingen etter Rypdals tone, og blant dem finner vi folk som Hedvig Mollestad, Reine Fiske fra Dungen, Snah fra Motorpsycho og Even Helte Hermansen fra Bushman's Revenge. I tillegg til disse, som øyensynlig fikk Halden-studioet Athletic Sound til å koke og ryke mer enn papirfabrikken i dens glansdager, er det gitt bidrag fra noen av gitarens aller mest sublime utøvere i dag, så som Bill Frisell, Jim O'Rourke og Nels Cline fra Wilco. Og det er faktisk deres bidrag som skinner sterkest, for her dempes den ytre intensiteten til fordel for en rik indre ulming. Frisell har sin egen unike og umiddelbare tone, som kommer rolig og ensligsvevende inn er over lytteren i åpningssporet ”Ørnen”, som opprinnelig var å finne på albumet ”Chaser” fra 1985. Det rocka triosounden fra den platen med Bjørn Kjellemyr på bass, Audun Kleive på svære trommer og de påfølgende med The Chasers, har i nyere tid for øvrig vært til stor inspirasjon for meget tidstypiske norske fullkoktrioer som nettopp Bushman's Revenge, Hedvig Mollestad Trio og Elephant9, selv om flere i jazzen nok rynket litt på nesen den gang da. Men Frisell holder det nede og personlig og understreker Kaisers uttalelse om at Rypdal er den type gitarhelt som ikke innbyr til kopiering, men at han inspirerer unge gitarister til å ville høres ut som seg selv. Låtene med det norske bandet låter fantastisk fett og groovy, nesten så det ikke er til å tro, men det blir altså ekstra nydelig når det roes ned og utforskes på eiendommelig vis, som i ”Avskjed” (fra det underkjente og unike albumet med Mikkelborg og Jon Christensen fra 1980), ”Descendre” med David Torn alene, tolkningen av ”What Comes After” med Cline og cellisten Erik Friedlander eller mektige ”Sunsrise”, der Halden-bandets innspilling blir beriket med alle mulige instrumenter lagt på av Jim O´Rourke i hans Japan-eksil.
Dagens Næringsliv (NO)

Der Norweger Terje Rypdal war über Jahrzehnte der wohl wichtigste und ein-flussreichste europäische Jazz-Gitarrist neben John McLaughlin. Gesundheitliche Gründe lassen ihn seit einigen Jahren deutlich kürzer treten. Unter Federführung seiner Landsfrau Hedvig Mollestad erscheint nun ein opulent besetzter Tribut an den skandinavischen Jazzrock-Pionier. Mit dabei sind Bill Frisell, Jim O'Rourke, Henry Kaiser, David Torn, Raoul Björkenheim, Ståle Storløkken, mehrere Mitglieder von Motorpsycho und noch andere Lichtgestalten aus Jazz, Rock und Avantgarde. Es spielt kaum eine Rolle, dass die Songs in unterschiedlichen Besetzungen eingespielt wurden, denn alles lässt sich auf den Nukleus von Rypdal zurückführen und trägt seine Signatur. Nach Frisells nachdenklichem lntro ist die Musik durchgängig hymnisch, psychedelisch und progressiv bis zur Ekstase. Jazz ist nur eine von vielen Facet-ten dieser interaktiven, kollektiven Powermusik. „Sky Music" ist keine Compilation, sondern ein Festival für Terje Rypdal. 9/10.
Eclipsed (DE)

Terje Rypdal ist ein norwegischer Musiker & Komponist, der seit Jahrzehnten weit über Skandinavien hinaus zu den ganz Großen des Gitarren-Jazz gehört. Durch sein ungewöhnliches Gitarren-Spielgelang es ihm, traditionelle Jazz-Linien aufzubrechen und eine Symbiose zwischen Rock und Jazz zu schaffen. Auf der vorliegenden Arbeit haben sich „Seelenverwandte wie Bill Frisell, David Torn, Erik Friedlander u.v.a. dazu aufgemacht, um den großen Kollegen anlässlich seines 70. Geburstages zu ehren. Dafür wurden einige seiner bekanntesten Kompositionen mit vertrackten Arrangements und mit großer Detailliebe neu in Szene gesetzt. Aufgeschlossene Gitarren-Jazzfans kommen an dieser Schei-be kaum vorbei! 5/5.
Intro (DE)

Der Norweger Terje Rypdal zählt ohne Frage zu den einflussreichsten Gitarristen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Aufgrund seines Gesundheitszustandes ist es in den letzten Jahren etwas ruhiger um ihn geworden. Eine Reihe von norwegischen Musikern um Hedvig Mollestad, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten und Ståle Storløkken hat nun unter dem Logo „Sky Music" ein Tribute an Rypdal aufgenommen und wird dabei unterstützt von Gästen wie Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, Jim O'Rourke, Henry Kaiser, Erik Friedlander, David Torn, Raoul Björkenheim, den Motorpsycho-Gitarristen Hans Magnus Ryan und Reine Fiske und anderen. Was sich hier wie maßloses Namedropping ausmacht, ist eine der fulminantesten Gitarrenplatten seit Jahren, denn da alle Beteiligten einen gemeinsamen Fokus haben, zieht sich ein narrativer Faden durch diese Kopplung. Diese CD veranschaulicht eindrucksvoll, wo heute überall Spurenelemente von Rypdals Stilistik zu finden sind. Hier wird geträumt und gegrübelt, aber auch mächtig viel Dampf abgelassen. „Sky Music - A Tribute To Terje Rypdal" (Rune Grammofon/Cargo) wird dem Gitarristen nicht nur gerecht, sondern führt dessen Errungenschaften weit über dessen Intentionen und Ursprünge hinaus. 5/5.
Jazzthing (DE)

Am 23. August wurde der ein-flussreiche Gitarrist Terje Rypdal siebzig. Grund genug für Kollegen wie Henry Kaiser, Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, David Torn oder Jim O'Rourke, ihm in Form dieses Tribute-Albums zu gratulieren. Der Titel ist wahrscheinlich ein Hinweis auf Rypdals Skywards-LP oder seine Komposition „My Music Reaches To the Sky" aus dem jüngsten Album Melodic Warrior. Alle Stücke sind Originalkompositionen des Norwegers, darunter auch zwei zuvor noch nie veröffentlichte Werke. Initiiert vom US-Amerikaner Kaiser, einem großen Fan Rypdals, wurde eine Jamband aus Musikern der Gruppen Supersilent, The Thing und Bushman's Revenge zusammengestellt, die die zuvor genannten Gitarristen sowie noch einige skandinavische Saitenspieler bei der Hälfte der Stücke unterstützen. Rypdals kreativer Werdegang schließt den experimentellen Rock, die Elektronik, die Klassik ebenso ein wie den Jazz. Allerdings überquerte er dann diese Stilistiken in seiner verzweigten, sphärischen Musik mit einem ureigenen Sound. Genau dieser Experimentierfreude huldigt das kraftvolle Projekt Sky Music. Zudem steuern Frisell, Torn und Motorpsycho-Gitarrist Hans Magnus Ryan Solostücke bei, die, mal voller zarter Finesse, mal mit wüsten Verzerrungen, ein großes Spektrum offerieren. Die beeindruckende Reihe von Gitarristen, die zu diesem unwiderstehlich explosiven Projekt beigetragen haben, von denen jeder seine eigene Ausdrucksweise hat, ist so prägnant und ihre Kreativität so abwechslungsreich, wie es Terje Rypdal seit fünfzig Jahren in seiner Musik vorlebt. Ein ganz grandioses Gitarrenalbum! 5/5.
Jazzthetik (DE)

Vor gut 20 Jahren erschien mit „If Mountains Could Sing" wieder einmal ein Album von Terje Rypdal voller Überraschungen. Ein Jazzrock-Trio traf auf ein Streicher-Trio mit Funken-schlag zwischen Fusion und Avantgarde. An den Album-Titel mag man sich erinnern, wenn man das Päckchen hört, was ein international besetztes High-end-Ensemble mit insgesamt 10 Gitarristen unter der transatlantischen Ägide von Henry Kaiser Rypdal zum 70. Geburtstag geschnürt. Nein, falsch, das Päckchen ist ein massives Paket voller Noise, wenn die Creme de la creme des skandinavischen Improv von Raoul Björkenheim bis Reine Fiske die Keule schwingt, unterstützt von einer Allstar-Rhythmsektion um Ståle Storløkken. Aus den USA, wo Rypdals Sound offenbar schulbildend war, melden sich Jim O'Rourke, Nels Cline, David Torn und Bill Frisell zu Wort. Neben grandios ausufernden Krrrch bleibt noch Platz für Experimentelles und differenziert-leise Töne. Wer dieses Jahr nur ein Gitarrenalbum kaufen will, greife zu! Play loud! 4/5.
Klenkes (DE)

Op 23 augustus is de legendarische Noorse gitarist en componist Terje Rypdal 70 geworden. Deze zeer invloedrijke gitarist wordt ook wel omschreven als de geluidsdichter op de Fender Stratocaster. En dat doet hij, dikwijls met de grote der aarde, al zo'n 50 jaar lang, wat een immense prestatie is. Vandaar dat de crème de la crème van de experimentele scene een eerbetoon brengt uit bewondering voor diens werk. Voor A Tribute To Terje Rypdal neemt de Amerikaanse experimentele gitarist Henry Kaiser het initiatief door niet zo maar een tribute op te nemen, maar er de gelegenheidsformatie Sky Music voor in het leven te roepen die in bijna 80 minuten 9 composities van Rypdal op hun wijze brengen. Naast Kaiser bestaat dit topteam uit Raoul Björkenheim (gitaar), Nels Cline (gitaar, bas, loops), Reine Fiske (gitaar), Erik Friedlander (cello), Bill Frisell (gitaar), Even Helte Hermansen (gitaar), Ingebrigt Håker Floten (bas, contrabas), Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen (gitaar), Gard Nilssen (drums), Jim O'Rourke (pedal steel, gitaarsynthesizer, synthesizer, contrabas), Hans Magnus Ryan (gitaar), Ståle Storløkken (keyboards) en David Torn (gitaar). Veel labelartiesten die je onder meer kent van Elephant9, Supersilent, Scorch Trio, The Thing, Bushman's Revenge, Dungen en Motorpsycho. Daarbij spelen ze nooit allemaal tegelijkertijd, maar steeds in wisselende combinaties en leveren Bill Frisell, Nels Cline en David Tom zelfs solo interpretaties af. Het levert een veelzijdig experimenteel geheel op, vol freejazz, noise, improvisaties en avant-gare, die de meester eer aan doet. Geen muziek voor de luisteraar zonder zitvlees, maar veeleer voor de avontuurlijke draaikonten. Een fantastische traktatie die "gefeliciteerd Terje Rypdal" schreeuwt.
Subjectivisten (NE)

Het is een mooi stel dat bij elkaar gekomen is voor dit verjaardagscadeau voor de Noorse gitarist Terje Rypdal (70). Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, Henry Kaiser, Jim O'Rourke en Reine Fiske zijn zelf stuk voor stuk vernieuwende gitaristen die allen hun sporen hebben verdiend in de jazz, geïmproviseerde muziek en rock. Op A Tribute to Terje Rypdal spelen, herinterpreteren en koppelen ze werk van de jarige muzikant. Met soms verbluffend resultaat. Mooi zijn de elegante (solo)bijdragen van Bill Frisell en David Torn. Maar pas echt genieten voor liefhebbers van harde gitaren wordt het op de stukken waarin meerdere gitaristen samenkomen. Heavier dan de hardste heavy metal klinkt het in het toepasselijk getitelde Warning: Electric Guitars. Terwijl je echt geregeld opschrikt van de wendingen in tempo, volume en sfeer als de veelkoppige band nummers als Tough Enough en Rolling Stone aan elkaar koppelt. Niet voor zwakke maagjes, deze muziek. Maar liefhebbers van het steviger gitaarwerk zullen blij worden verrast. Om daarna te rade te gaan bij Rypdals eigen werk, zoals het album Odyssey (ECM, 1975). 4/5.
Volkskarnt (NE)   (best bits 2007)