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Monday, September 21, 2009

Gunhild Seim & Time Jungle - Morpho (Mudi, 2009) ****

There aren't many women trumpet-players. I know Ingrid Jensen, Jamie Branch, Nadje Noordhuis, and now Gunhild Seim. Seim is a Norwegian and someone to watch. On her sophomore album, she is accompanied by a great band, with Arild Hoem on saxophone, Dag Magnus Narvesen on drums, John Lilja on bass, and with Odd Børge Sagland joining on marimba on half the tracks. This is not free jazz, but carefully composed and meticulously arranged music with room for improvisation and the occasional wild excursion. And indeed, next to a wonderful trumpet-player, she is also a promising composer, very open in her ideas of how to use rhythm and how to superimpose several melodic lines, while paying lots of attention to the piece's specific style and mood. Most tracks could be categorized as chamber jazz, despite the presence of the drums, which doesn't mean that all compositions are down-tempo. "Frown" and "Motion Sickness", for instance, are more boppish, forming the middle part of the album. "Blue Morpho" is a mid-tempo piece, sad and joyful at the same time. Dave Douglas, with whom she studied, is not far, and especially on "Gigue" you can hear his influence, both in the composition and in the tone of her playing. But Seim has sufficient character and creativity to develop her own musical ideas. And the best pieces are the ones on which Odd Børge Sagland joins on marimba, adding a nice touch of additional flavor, and in combination with the arco bass, the great rhythms and the nice playing of both Seim and Hoem this works extremely well. "Just A Hunch", and "Captain Cook" are my favorite tracks, together with the dark closing piece. This is music like a fresh bowl of salad : light and substantial, varied and coherent, simple and complex, and with a great mix of subtle and contrasting tastes. Enjoy!

Listen and download from eMusic.

© stef


allan said...

You may like Canadian trumpeter Lina Allemano who has released three short, but excellent, CD's. Her website is at