Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
Arthaus Musik presents a night of jazz-rock and fusion, recorded live at the Jazzopen Festival Stuttgart in 1994. The line-up includes three outstanding musicians: Terje Rypdal from Norway, Miroslav Vitous from the Czech Republic and Trilok Gurtu from India. The trio delighted the audience with their own compositions, fusing subtle Indian rhythms with elements of modern jazz and rock. The DVD captures the live atmosphere and the interaction between the three musicians while drawing close to each when they are playing solo. Terje Rypdals guitar sound is equally at home in the rock, jazz and new music idioms. The bass-player Miroslav Vitous was one of the pioneers of jazz-rock fusion. Percussionist Trilok Gurtu must be considered one of the great innovators on the traditional table drums, which are only one albeit a major element in his musical arsenal. His popularity is evident in his tour plans; the day before the Stuttgart concert he played solo in Zürich, and shortly after the concert he played a duet with Joe Zawinul. Despite his reputation it wasnt easy to predict how well he would harmonize with Rypdal and Vitous. Until then, the pair had played trios with Jack DeJohnette. As Rypdal, Vitous and Gurtu have never released an album together, this concert recording fills a gap with a cultural dialogue between three masters of jazz-fusion. In the informative booklet accompanying the DVD, jazz expert Marcus A. Woelfle comments on the concert: Like an astronaut in his cockpit, ready to jet off in any musical direction, Gurtu sits amid a battery of tubes, drums, sticks and containers and improvizes, empowered by a mood which exists all over the world, not just in India. The journey often takes a course to the north, not in a folkloric sense. This is due to the sound of Terje Rypdal, a spherical sound generated by echo and other special effect equipment, which we have come to associate with the far north, not least thanks to his numerous recordings. Spherical does not mean ethereal, as anyone who is familiar with Rypdals electric, electrifying fingering will know: this is heavy metal for friends of jazz, if you like. Gurtus grooves are augmented by the bass base of the virtuoso Vitous, a nimble character and solid rock all rolled into one.