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Once spoken of along with Garbarek, Rypdal and Christensen as one of the “Big Four” of Scandinavian jazz, recent developments in the indigenous jazz of this fertile region have produced many new challengers to Andersen’s crown. … Electra amply fulfils the brief for a modern, fluid, and spacious sound-scape. Vocalists join the mix more as a choral texture than for any lyric purpose, leaving Henriksen’s plaintive trumpet as the de facto lead vocalist. … The longest and boldest piece on the disc, it exemplifies the seamless fusion of ancient and cutting edge materials. Andersen’s talents as a composer have rarely been so much in the spotlight… His precise, warmly resonant bass-lines sound as good as ever, and although Electra may be a long way from Afric Pepperbird, Andersen should be a vital cornerstone of any new Big Four for the 21st Century. Strongly recommended.
Fred Grand, Jazzreview

There’s a feeling of wonder, to much of the enterprise: whispers glitter like frosty breath over Andersen’s rapidly ascending bass and percussion sparkles like unexpected snow. The two stars here are the leader whose authoritative, sympathetic playing is located at the heart of proceedings and Arve Henriksen whose breadth of expression on trumpet is astonishing. The success of the project may be attributed to the sympathy between the narrative’s tragic focus and the sense of mournful fatefulness found in much Norwegian music. Ultimately, the marriage of contemporary sounds and rhythms and Greek chorus, which lays its laments like a whisper upon the contemporary arrangements, is both thrilling and haunting.
Colin Buttmer, Jazzwise

The score, originally commissioned for a Greek Production of Sophocles’ Electra, has a refreshing breadth and vulgarity. It also has the lopsided sprawl you associate with theatre or soundtrack albums. … Andersen’s cast of musicians includes percussionists Paolo Vinaccia and Patrice Héral, guitarist Eivind Aarset and trumpeter Arve Henriksen, whose otherworldly tone dominates the album. There is also some beautiful writing for voices – literally a Greek chorus. Through effects, loops and studio techniques, Andersen succeeds in conjuring a big palette of sounds from a small group of musicians.
John L Walters, The Guardian

A modern score for a new production of the Greek tragedy Electra describes Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen’s latest ECM release, but that doesn’t give the whole picture. Electra is another lush-sounding offering from the Scandinavian contingent, which, at times, blends Asian and Nordic influences in equal measure. … Featuring drummers Paolo Vinaccia and Patrice Héral, the shakuhachi-like trumpet of Arve Henriksen and some haunting vocals underpinned by Andersen’s bass and Eivind Aarset’s textural guitar, this is a truly magnifincent CD.
Brent Keefe, Drummer


Wie findet man neue Töne für diese alte Geschichte um Rache und Muttermord, neue Töne für den Schrecken und die Angst, die Aigisthos und Klytaimnestra an Agamemnons Hof verbreitet haben? ... Andersen ... schuf eine aufregend fremd klingende Klanglandschaft, die gleichermaßen von den flächigen Trompetensounds Arve Henriksens, der Stimme Savina Yannatous und der eruptiven, an Terje Rypdal erinnernden Gitarrenarbeit Eivind Aarsets geprägt wird. Gitarren-Noise, schwere, elektronisch bearbeitete perkussive Grooves, unter anderem von Nils Petter Molvær programmiert, verstörende Stimmen an der Grenze der Hörbarkeit, archaische Gesänge, erst Andersens luzides Bassspiel sorgt für die hinreichende Grundierung der Klänge. Achtzehn unbetitelte Szenen, manche nur wenige Sekunden, andere zehn Minuten lang, enthält dieses den Hörer magisch in den Bann schlagende Album.
Ulrich Kriest, Stuttgarter Zeitung

Der norwegische Bassist Arild Andersen, entwirft, akustische Instrumente, Electronics und Stimmen einbeziehend, einen klanggewaltigen Bilderbogen, der die antike Tragödie “Elektra” imaginiert.
Bert Noglik, Jazz Zeitung

Aktuelle Musik zum antiken Stoff. ... Die meisten der 18 Szenen sind instrumental gehalten. Weltmusikalische Percussion, Eivind Aarsets rockige Ambient-Gitarre und programmierte Beats rücken einzelne Szenen in die Nähe der Klangwelt eines Nils Petter Molvaer, der hier freilich nicht als Trompeter zum Einsatz kommt. Dafür ist Andersens volltönender Kontrabass schon für sich ein Genuss. Eine „Elektra“, bei der man hätte dabeigewesen sein mögen.
Berthold Klostermann, Fono Forum

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