While more snow is falling than most of us would want, the economic and social world is coming to a halt, icy chill is kept outside, night has fallen, and everything has turned to calm.
Then two albums are released, both almost simultaneously, miraculously similar, yet different. All ice and warmth, all vocals and percussion, both avant-garde folk. Unique, but apparently not.
Terje Isungset - Winter Songs (Icemusic, 2010)****
before, and I must say that the "ice man" keeps delving deeper in his icy environment, turning it into a warm and welcoming place, where man and nature are in perfect harmony, despite the inhospitable conditions. The band consists of Nils Økland on fiddle, Sissel Walstad on harp, Espen Jørgensen on guitar, and Lena Nymark on vocals, with the boy choir of St. Hallvardguttene assisting. The percussion and the vocals are the most remarkable aspect of this music. Isungset carved out his own kind of approach, very traditional and based on folk music, but serene, beautiful and open-minded. True, musically he keeps repeating himself, but who cares? To have created such a very unique musical space, is just a dream for many musicians.
Listen and download from eMusic.
Evgeny Masloboev & Anastasia Masloboeva - Russian Folksongs In The Key Of Sadness (Leo Records, 2010)****
Jazz fans, bear with me: it is snowing outside, it is bone-chilling cold, all is calm, and yes, this is not jazz in the strictest sense, but at moments like this one, anything heartwarming is welcome.