A Year From Easter 0605

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rovi.MR0000434882 6/7/05 Used
$6.79 $7.99

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Review Text What must be heard by contemporary jazz generalists as a typical ECM type European music creation, pianist Christian Wallumrod has conjured up a nomadic series of themes that touch on various strains of ethnic music. Echoes of classical and chamber musics, and Manfred Eicher's brand of tonally reserved, emotionally balanced, and coolly rendered sounds provide a rich but predictable musical palette. The title A Year from Easter might suggest many themes of hope, looking forward, sudden dismay, prayers for peace and justice, and post-distress emergence. While all that and more is present in the music, there's also a sense of forgiving, mutual trust, love, and that balance so needed in a life of ups and downs. Wallumrod must inevitably be compared to ECM stablemates Keith Jarrett, Mike Nock, and Bobo Stenson, but also to fellow Europeans Lennart Aberg, Thomas Clausen, and American icon Paul Bley. His band with violinist Nils Økland and trumpeter Arve Henriksen further draw comparisons to Jenny Scheinman and Kenny Wheeler respectively. Their sonic union with Wallumrod's piano or harmonium is a marriage of sheer beauty, wisdom and mutual agreement, and the CD unfolds like an epic novel. The dainty chamber like "Arch Song" starts the voyage, followed by the French/Middle Eastern requiem "Eliasong," with Wallumrod on harmonium. "Stompin' at Gagarin" pushes up the fun quotient, albeit deliberate and stealth, while the sad "Wedding Postponed" and the invocation "Psalm" turn the music somber and reverent. Sporadic piano and stroked-over toned cymbals on the percussive "Unisono" leads to the long toned sonic text piece "Lichtblick," the faux "Horseshoe Waltz," with its breathing and clattering sounds not in 3/4 time, and the somber afterthought visage of the title track, again identified by the harmonium. There's a delicate two-note actual waltz "Japanese Choral," Økland's pensive violin featured for "Sketch," a repeat of "Eliasong," Økland's violin assimilating a flute during "Neunacht," and the closer "Two Years from Easter" with Økland and Henriksen in a more resolved and hopeful mood. This CD, obviously, needs to be heard in its entirety, as there are really no stand-alone pieces. It's a wondrous journey though the human condition, to be shared and not recommended to loners or disenfranchised separatists of the intelligent music world, still coming easily recommended. ~ Michael G. Nastos

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Release Date
6/7/05 

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