JJ 05/91: Sidsel Endresen – So I Write

Thirty years ago, Simon Adams thought it was time for a new ECM house style. First published in Jazz Journal May 1991

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More ECM angst, this time with the bizarre ingredient of the usually jolly Django Bates trying to confront the overwhelming melancholia of vocalist and lyri­cist Sidsel Endresen.

He fails, for her brooding presence dominates this set entirely. After a couple of tracks, you long for a quick jig, a glimpse of the high life. By the end of the album, you’ve hit the second bottle of Scotch.

Fortunately, Nils Petter Molvaer pro­vides some musical relief, his soaring, precisely intoned solos to This Is The Movie and Dreamland, for example, transforming each piece immeasurably (although even he makes Miles with a mute sound a bundle of fun).

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But a single Nils does not a good time make, for this is a depressing, oppressive set, its self-indulgence exposed by a soli­tary excursion into Joni Mitchell territory on Truth. Into the 1990s please, ECM; you need a new house style.

Discography
So I Write; This Is The Movie; Dreamland; Words; Mirror Images; Spring; Truth; Horses In Rain (48.22)
Sidsel Endresen (v);Nils Petter Molvaer (t/flh/pc); Django Bates (p); Jon Christensen (d/pc). Recorded Oslo, June 1990.
(ECM 1408)

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