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


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).

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.

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)