Before The Light (CD)

Ketil Bjørnstad

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Described by producer Shu-Fang Wang as "an imaginary soundtrack originally composed for a film story set in Taipei," Before the Light gives the music of ECM recording artist Ketil Bjørnstad a cinematic twist. For this album, the pianist has written a handful of romantic melodies and atmospheric moods. The former are presented in different arrangements scattered throughout the album; the latter often include guitar soundscapes and programmed rhythm tracks. Bjørnstad is accompanied by guitarist Eivind Aarset, viola player Nora Taksdal, and keyboardist Kjetil Bjerkestrand. Each one of these short pieces (none over six minutes) makes a melodic statement that could be qualified as being quintessential ECM. The reappearance of themes at different moments ("Before the Light," "Taipei Nights," "Cookie's Face") reinforces the impression of following a movie, but the settings show enough diversity to make the process something more than...a process. For example, the title track's melody is first stated with the full quartet as the album-opener, Aarset playing a David Torn-like electric guitar (soaring, yet angular). It comes back as soft viola and piano solos in number two and number three. The samples and loops evoke urban life in very clichéd ways (the film's plot involved a taxi driver) and surely are not this music's best feature. Listen instead to the beautiful "Shimmering," a duet between piano and electric guitar. A good album of film music (imaginary or not), Before the Light presents Bjørnstad's less-jazzy side. ~ François Couture 456351 The Pretty Things were one of the most underrated rhythm & blues bands to come out of the mid-60's British rock explosion. So well-loved by Brits, they were often thought of in the same breath as The Rolling Stones. And, like a lot of great rhythm & blues based groups to come put of England, they stepped somewhat uneasily into the precarious psychedelic music explosion. However, in all fairness, The Pretty Things did come up with a pretty fine and original album, Emotions. Superbly well-orchestrated (especially the gorgeous "The Sun," one of the album's standouts), The Pretty Things didn't lose sight of their R&B leanings, as tracks such as "There Will Never Be Another Day" show. This reissue is also buttressed by a generous selection of bonus tracks seven of 'em - making it even more worthwhile. ~ Matthew Greenwald


  1. Before the Light No. 1
  2. Alai's Room
  3. Intimacy
  4. Taipei Nights No. 1
  5. Before the Light No. 2
  6. Cookie's Face No. 1
  7. Cake's Taxi Dreams
  8. Seeing Things
  9. Behind the Mask
  10. Taipei Nights No. 2
  11. Before the Light No. 3
  12. Cookie's Face No. 2
  13. Underground
  14. Neon
  15. Taipei Nights No. 3
  16. Shimmering
  17. Before the Light No. 4



Utgitt 2002 Format CD
Sjanger Jazz Antall disker 1
Antall spor 17 Artist Ketil Bjørnstad
Label November Leverandør Musikklosen
Bestillingsnummer NVR20192