The Pan-Scandinavian Starflowers band of kantele player and vocalist Sinikka Langeland is further expanded on this latest recording, so in addition to Trygve Seim on saxophones, Arve Henriksen on trumpet, Anders Jormin on double bass and Markku Ounaskari on drums and percussion, she has Anna Maria Friman, Berit Opheim and Linn Andrea Fuglseth, known collectively as Trio Mediaeval, on vocals.
All the players share an affinity for blending jazz, folk and classical strains of music into a complete and cohesive whole, and this is music that goes satisfyingly and profoundly deep while not stinting on immediate surface beauty and attraction.
Trio Mediaeval’s brilliant overlapping voices with Langeland on Jacob’s Dream, for example, over the ringing, earthy harp sound of the kantele, are as fresh as a mountain stream of thawing snow, before the low horns, deeply-sonorous bass and showering, sparkling cymbals add the rest of the forest into the sound-picture.
Henriksen’s high, vocal trumpet and Seim’s gruff Tenor are ideal contrasting then combining partners, but there are similar delights wherever one listens. The sonic and timbral creativity reaches throughout the band, and it’s all drawn together by the singular, extended vision of its leader.
Langeland’s previous ECM albums have been exquisite but this one builds on that delicate beauty withthe addition of the vocal trio bringing added stature and wider power. The Magical Forest is Sinikka Langeland’s greatest achievement yet.
Categories: CD review