Guitarist and composer Terje Rypdal (1947) is probably as close as one gets to a living legend in Norwegian music.
Born in Oslo on 23rd August, Rypdal was already a star at home in his teens with pop-rock group The Vanguards. This was followed by the timely and inevitable passage through psychedelia with quartet The Dream, releasing their only album, Get Dreamy, in 1967. In 1968, still only 21 years old, Rypdal released Bleak House, the first, quite extraordinary album under his own name, fully showing what direction he was moving into. Min Bul, his trio with Bjørnar Andresen and Espen Rud, followed with their only album two years later. Rypdal and fellow Norwegians Jan Garbarek, Arild Andersen and Jon Christensen were quickly picked up by Manfred Eicher, starting his ECM label. The quartet released Afric Pepperbird in 1970, only the seventh album on ECM, and Rypdal would follow with Terje Rypdal the year after. The four of them would soon establish themselves as pillars of a progressive jazz movement in Norway and indeed Europe. Rypdal was at an early age also drawn towards contemporary composers like Ligeti and Penderecki, and would later write a number of symphonies and genre-crossing orchestral works. He would also revisit his rock roots on several occasions. Terje Rypdal has received a number of awards, including three Norwegian Grammies (Spellemannpris), the last being the honorary award in 2005.
Sky Music is a humble and heartfelt celebration of an inspirational artist and truly unique guitarist that hasn't fully received the due credit and recognition he deserves for over 50 years of music making. Initiated by the experimental US guitarist and lifelong Rypdal fan Henry Kaiser, we put together a Rune Grammofon all star band including keyboardist and long time Rypdal sidekick Ståle Storløkken (Elephant9, Supersilent), bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (Scorch Trio, The Thing), drummer Gard Nilssen (Bushman's Revenge), guitarists Even H. Hermansen (Bushman's Revenge) and Hedvig Mollestad, Finnish guitarist Raoul Björkenheim (Scorch Trio) and Swedish guitarist Reine Fiske (Dungen). Kaiser also played and produced while Hans Magnus Ryan (Motorpsycho) added bits and pieces and Jim O'Rourke beamed in his exquisite contributions to “Sunrise” from Tokyo. Bill Frisell, Nels Cline and David Torn delivered their solo interpretations, Cline with the aid of cellist Erik Friedlander.
Sky Music is their birthday present to Terje Rypdal at 70.
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