Trygve Seim/Andreas Utnem: Purcor; Songs for Saxophone and Piano (ECM/Ode)

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Siem/Utnem: Bhavana
Trygve Seim/Andreas Utnem: Purcor; Songs for Saxophone and Piano (ECM/Ode)

On a blindfold test -- "What record label is this on?" -- my money would be on greater than 90 percent of music-aware Elsewhere people saying immediately "ECM", and about half of those left over making an inspired guess and saying the same.

Much as this is all things which its oddly under-claiming promo makes for it ("a thoughtful and reflective album, of great charm" seems sensibly modest), this is an album which is no more than what it is: a saxophonst and a piano player (sometimes Utnem shifts to harmonium) just quietly improvising in a studio on very short pieces which sometimes draw on Norwegian folks songs but are mostly slight dialogues which seem to imply greater gravitas and depth by being slow and reflective.

Hmmm. 

Their reconsideration of Seim's Bhavana is the standout, and Pater Noster is a lovely, reflective piece  -- but then most of them are, which means little separates itself from the pack. 

This is a generic ECM album which will just float past in the ether, and you will be no wiser, inspired or better for having heard it than the old chums were in making it.

Disappointing, especially given this is their first duet outing in more than a decade together.

Want better? Then try this.

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