Sinikka Langlenad Ensemble CD reviewed by Bruce Adams

Music Reviews
Sinikka Langlenad Ensemble CD reviewed by Bruce Adams
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Nov 7, 2007, 05:37

Sinikka Langeland Ensemble - Starflowers
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SINIKKA LANGELAND ENSEMBLE Starflowers CD

Sinikka Langlenad plays a Norwegian instrument called a Kantele, which resembles a hammered dulcimer. The crystalline tones are prominent on Starflowers, but in no way is it a demonstration record. Backed by a quartet that includes Supersilent's Arve Henriksen on trumpet, Trygve Seim on saxophones and the rhythm section of Anders Jormin (double-bass) and Markku Ounaskari on drums, Langeland covers territory from (fairly) hard bop to ballads.

She also sings, having set poems from Hans Borli (who is I guess known as a lumberjack poet in his native Norway).

I hate to say this is a “typical” ECM release, but the quality levels the label has set are abundantly displayed on Starflowers. The clear and spacious recording favors Henricksen's nuanced trumpeting for example and gets the details from the Kantele without overwhelming the other instruments. That instrument especially ends up being part of an interwoven ensemble as opposed to a “foreign” instrument grafted onto a jazz ensemble.

My only complaint is that the album is too much of a good thing. Thirteen tracks add up to an hour and eleven minutes. If Starflowers were a double LP and I could listen to a side at a time I would be well satisfied. As is, I often take the CD out of the player after eight tracks have played. It's not a problem of filler per se, just a lot of tracks that could have been saved for a separate release or releases. [ECM]

-Bruce Adams

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