Russel Walder: Rise (Nomad Soul/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

Russel Walder: The World Goes Through My Mind
Russel Walder: Rise (Nomad Soul/Ode)

Walder was the producer/arranger and oboe player on Whirimako Black's exceptional Kura Huna album of two years ago, and if there had been any justice it would have appeared in "best of the year" lists.

My guess was too few critics heard it, some were put off by Black singing in te reo (the Maori language), and even fewer understood just what a breakthrough album it was.

For it Walder placed Black's exceptional voice in a quasi-ambient context and wove his oboe around it in an almost liturgical manner. The album wouldn't have sounded out of place in the ECM catalogue.

This new, instrumental album by Walder (with guitarist Nigel Gavin on one track) takes some of Kura Huna as its starting point but with Walder on electronic keyboards, percussion, programming, oboe, recorder and duduk (an Armenian woodwind instrument, I looked it up) it is more richly textured.

But that ambient, meditative feel is still ever-present and long tracks such as Gift of Fire, The World Goes Through My Mind and Long Revealing, each eight minutes or more) are musical and cosmic journeys.

There is a lovely ethereal quality to the ballads here (Standing-Falling is hypnotic) but Walder -- who recorded for the new age label Windham Hill -- has an ambitious reach, and while some may dismiss this as a bit amorphous that criticism doesn't acknowledge what he has achieved.

But after Kura Huna I suspect Walder is used to people not getting what it is he is doing.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

AMMP: From the Back of the Sun (ampp.co.nz)

AMMP: From the Back of the Sun (ampp.co.nz)

You have to admire -- and be something in awe of -- this four-piece from Wellington. They set their controls at "epic: stadium width" and manage to write and deliver material which... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Sharon O'Neill: Words, The Best of Sharon O'Neill (Sony)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Sharon O'Neill: Words, The Best of Sharon O'Neill (Sony)

With Sharon O'Neill's 2017 induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame, this 20-song collection from 2014 gets deserved re-presentation. But it also serves as useful reminder of just... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . BUTTERBEANS AND SUSIE: Dat ol' black magic?

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . BUTTERBEANS AND SUSIE: Dat ol' black magic?

These days we are used to artists taking a few years between albums – although some were surprised Blue Nile took seven years between Hats and Peace at Last. But for the Vaudeville... > Read more

JIMMY PAGE by JIMMY PAGE

JIMMY PAGE by JIMMY PAGE

Ever since his death in 1970, there's been speculation as to what direction Jimi Hendrix might have gone in had he lived. For every opinion saying he'd have got into jazz fusion (maybe with... > Read more