Annbjørg Lien — Aliens Alive
(NorthSide NSD6068, 2002, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2003-08-01Annbjørg Lien’s career has taken her from traditional Norwegian solo fiddling to 2000’s Baba Yaga, with its progressive and world music influences. On this live release, she and her band (a total of eight musicians, though all never appear on the same track) take us through that entire spectrum, and throw in a few goodies besides. She starts out the show with a lovely bit of solo fiddling called “The Rose,” putting us into a mellow and receptive mood (and reminding us of the traditions behind what she does), then proceeds to Baba Yaga’s “Loki” with keyboard man Bjørn Ole Rasch laying down a wash of synth chords for a flute melody before the familiar music starts. Next up is a fourteen minute suite called “Origins” which rearranges some of the parts of “Ája,” including the drone singing of Ailo Gaup, and adds some other parts, such as a great flute solo from Hans Fredrik Jacobsen. Rasch’s keyboards add an unexpected touch, often a cathedral organ sound (sort of like Wakeman without the continual arpeggios), but sometimes a classic Hammond touch, as in the title track, where he lays down an Emerson-style riff under some heavy percussion. Rasch also covers the low end in the absence of a bass player, and has a hand in arranging almost every track. Acoustic guitarist Roger Tallroth gets plenty of opportunities to shine, though not in a flashy up-front way; his support in arrangements and harmonies is integral to the sound of the band.
Related artist(s): Annbjørg Lien
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more