Saturday, 27 February 2010

Terje Rypdal - After The Rain

After The Rain sounds like a soundtrack to a particularly bleak episode of the moody Swedish crime drama Wallander, where the hero has several dark nights of the soul within the time it takes him to drink a cup of coffee.

The scene - an isolated cafe in the back end of beyond. Vast skies in a tumult of colliding anti-cyclones. Wallander arrives, unshaven and unwashed. A speck of dried blood on the crumpled collar of his 8 day old shirt.

Sat at a window table, Wallander staring mournfully out the accross the windswept plains of Sverge as his inner mind churns in turmoil. A bored waitress slouches over. Wallander orders a Danish pastry and a black coffee. The order arrives and he watches in silence as a fly lands on the cake and begins to lazily wash itself. Outside, the wind picks up and the heavens open. A single tear rolls down Wallander's cheek.....

Of course, if you've not seen Wallander, none of that makes any sense! So here's a proper review.

Terje Rypdal is one of the best known modern jazz guitarists in Europe, and has released many albums since 1968's Bleak House. The almost entirely instrumental After The Rain came out in 1976, and is not so much jazz, more ambient. Delicious melancholy melodies float out from this album which features minimal instrumentation, mainly piano and Rypdal's plaintive guitar playing. The whole thing is achingly beautiful yet sad at the same time and something of a lost classic in my opinion.

3.5 out of 5

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