Rave US reviews for Trygve Seim

Following saxophonist Trygve Seim’s recent US live debut; rave reviews have begun to tick in.

Trygve Seim 2007

Trygve Seim recently debuted on the US live scene with an applauded performance with his Ensemble at the key Portland Jazz Festival.

Writes the Santa Barbara Independent: "Seim’s group is a thing of wonder, at once visceral and ambient, rootsy and out-of-this-world. To hear the ten-piece group in the embracing, appropriate space of Portland’s First Congregational Church (built in 1892), made for what this scribe can only call a religious experience.(...) In Portland, the crowd went justifiably wild and weak at the knees and heart. Why was it that we don’t get to hear this ilk of music more often out here in the wild west?”

Read the full review here.

Allaboutjazz.com chimes in: "No doubt, if one is forced to apply a single label to Seim’s music, jazz is the best possible choice. But as much as artists like Seim challenge reductionist definitions of jazz, it’s clear that he is setting a new and distinct path from which jazz is but one of a number of base elements. And based on the audience’s response to music that, for many of them, was a new experience, it’s a direction that, with its strong resonance and layered disclosures of new musical meanings, holds great appeal."

Read the full review here.

One of the new leaders of contemporary European jazz, Trygve Seim describes his orchestral work as Sangam, which means "coming together", "confluence of a learned gathering," or literally "the meeting point of three rivers" in Sanskrit.

Seim was just 13 when he experienced a musical awakening upon hearing Nordic sax legend Jan Garbarek: "I couldn't believe a saxophone could sound like that!" He immediately began playing sax – taking up (like Garbarek) both the tenor and the curved soprano – but was soon quickly moving beyond his initial inspiration. If the now-characteristic "Nordic" cry is part of his sound, many other elements have been assimilated. The free jazz of Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler had a major liberating impact while he was studying in Trondheim. Seim also acquired a passion for the music of the Far East, especially the flute traditions of Asia (the duduk, the shakuhachi) and Eastern vocal music generally. An interest in Buddhism, too, has left its imprint on his music – the idea of breath is central to his compositions. For all its sensitive arrangements, the music is strong, not fragile, as European audiences enthusiastically confirm.

Seim’s ECM release Sangam was released on the North American market last year to great critical acclaim. One quote from the Village Voice sums it up pretty good: "Trygve Seim is an original, a species in scarce supply everywhere. We can't afford to let a single one go." (Read the full Village Voice review here).

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