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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sidsel... who?!?


Sidsel Endresen, folks... this Norwegian jazz singer and musician is a truly well-kept secret in music and ECM's catalog, as well.

I already bought her "Exile" disk, years ago, and liked it a lot... sparse melodies, dark lyrics, piano, cello and percussions.

It happened I saw while in Tokyo, last September, a quite expensive sealed copy of a vinyl titled "So I write"... I preferred to shop for more exotic, vintage stuffs, when in Ochanomizu, Tokyo - so I quitted...

... but when I saw this very record again, in recent ECM vinyl offers at a down-to-earth price-tag, I got it.

It proved to be a wonderful disc, indeed.

S. Endresen's voice is seldom heard, strange, smooth and rough, sandy and throaty, at same time and her lyrics, humble, unassuming little poems, are very beautiful and intriguing.

Sonically... well: some words are due... I recently read on a Forum that "ECM's (discs) are made to sound well and to please listener"!

This very sad sentence obviously said negatively (sic)... something truly silly, as every disc should please and all and every products should be made having "quality" as a goal!

Furthermore, Manfred Eicher and Jan-Erik Kongshaug looong relationship, almost a symbiosis, and sonic and musical vision is shared and so well oiled and honed after decades of flawless productions and recordings together, that virtually ALL ECM's discs seem linked one to each other, as a true, bright stream of consciousness.

This is not a defect, in my opinion, BUT a definite character, common-blood lineage and a lot of good taste and musical wisdom and an aesthetic sense so rarely found everywhere.

Sidsel Endresen's "So I write" - not a recent disc, issued in 1990, but brand new for yours truly - is a sonic masterpiece: dynamics and details, cymbals, small percussion, clay pots, large drums, Nils-Petter Molvaer's trumpet and flugelhorn and Django Bates' piano and Sidsel's voice ALL are nicely spreaded on an immense, broad, yet VERY natural soundstage.

Also on more dense climaxes, where voice and/or flugelhorn are at full steam, the record still keeps a relaxed easiness, much welcomed.

Side two is a true masterpiece, but whole record is one of those discs you hint to your dearest friend.

... so: Sidsel... who?!?! Sidsel Endresen, folks... find a copy of her "So I write" on ECM and... enjoy!

from ECM's site - vinyl is still available;-)

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