Rypdal, Terje – Odysseys [2xLP Norway 1975] - Used LP
sleeve: VG- (actual sleeve in main photo)
While the rhythm section clearly has a role in this, this is Rypdal's album, conversing with himself through multi-tracking (I assume) with synthesizer, sax and especially electric guitar--all Hendrix and electronic harmonics. While fusion had gotten pretty annoying by the mid 1970s, Rypdal (and the ECM label) moved into new directions while also looking back to innovators Miles Davis, Weather Report and Coryell (Rypdal himself was recording in 1968 but I've never heard those recordings.). Of course, this also might owe something to The Mahavishnu Orchestra, but while fans of that group might find this a lesser version, it's so much enjoyable for me. I can't stand 97.3% of the stuff that John McLaughlin did, but I can thoroughly enjoy the work of Rypdal, unless of course he sounds too much like McLaughlin, which I suppose this set does for brief periods. Fortunately most of the time, this sinks the guitar sounds into the compositions to create dark soundscapes. And even when it rocks out with guitar excess, it's usually much less annoying than many fusion guitarists, maybe because it seems to still remember the early fusion fuzz of Coryell where the guitar wasn't used to show off the speed and talents of the player--technically perfect and perfectly technical--but rather to create sounds that help you forget the players and even the instruments and just enjoy the offerings. This seems such a great example of how Hendrix influenced jazz, and how someone clearly heavily influenced by Hendrix can move that influence into new territory. This also seems so much connected with Norway, cold, dark and expansive, winds across frozen lands, and it's interesting to hear Hendrix influence there in 1975. I imagine this set influenced many, including many not so obvious bands and artists and genres in Norway. It also likely had an influence on the shoegaze, post rock and progressive metal of the 21st century, even if some of those bands working in those genres are twice removed and don't even know this album exists. This shows that exploratory indulgence can actually be more than just annoying. It can even be interesting and enjoyable. -- winch (green noise)
Odyssey Review by Michael P. Dawson: A magnificent effort that combines crushingly powerful rock/jazz ("Over Bierkerot" is a killer) with long, brooding electric ruminations, it was originally a double album.