Friday, 16 February 2018

Arild Andersen - Molde Concert (expanded edition 2000, orig 1982)

ECM magnificence from the Molde Jazz Festival in August 1981, partly released as a single LP in 1982, then restored to almost (one track from the LP had to be dropped to squeeze in under 80 mins) full glory on CD in 2000.  The great Norwegian bassist was joined for this fine selection of his tunes (plus the Miles Davis/Tony Williams-penned encore) by Bill Frisell on guitar, John Taylor on piano, and sometime Weather Reporter Alphonse Mouzon on drums.

We've mostly heard Taylor and Frisell in mellow modes on this blog up til now (check the label tags for previous posts), and there is a good showing of downtempo loveliness in the Molde setlist - Targeta, Lifelines and Koral for sure - but for the most part, this album absolutely rocks.  Finding the confidence that he recalled wasn't quite there yet on Fluid Rustle, Bill Frisell hits cooking temperature right from the set opener and just gets increasingly jaw dropping from there.

It might just be the fact that he's a jazz guitarist with a full on rock snarl here, but Frisell made me think of Steve Howe at least once - check Cameron near the end, where Andersen also gets a great solo spot.  The 13 minutes of The Sword Beneath His Wings are also a highlight for Frisell and for everyone - Andersen might be the bandleader, but this is very much a firing-on-all-cylinders group effort.  Even the drum solos are awesome, as on Six For Alphonse.  Highly recommended.
original LP cover


  1. Thanks! This looks interesting, especially since I don't often hear Frisell get too wild on record

  2. Also, I forget if I told you already, but I got around to sharing some live Azimuth at my blog:

    1. I like the comparison to vaporwave! Uncanny how certain sounds/textures come back around.

    2. Thanks! One of these days I'm going to get around to making a mixtape of 70s/80s ECM tracks I think vaporwave fans would dig: Jan Garbarek, Azimuth, Michael Mantler

  3. "...vaporwave fans would dig: Jan Garbarek, Azimuth, Michael Mantler"

    Weird comparison. I mean, records by those artists contain actual musical content.

  4. I first heard Arild Andersen on Bobo Stenson's 'Underwear', and more recently on Vassilis Tsabropoulos' 'Achirana'. Looking forward to hearing this. Thank you for sharing.