Monday, May 26, 2008

In Review--70 Years in the Making

Sondre Bratland
This Dream We Have

Kirkelig Kulturverksted

Now in his 70s, Sondre Bratland released a new recording, This Dream We Have. The recording features simple instrumental arrangements that provide a light backdrop for Bratland's signature vocals. Bratland also surfs through a variety of musical genres which he has grown fond of over the years, ballads, folk songs, a little bit of Latin music (Dream and reality), and country western. However this CD also has been spiced with a jazz element. Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge's poems provide the text for this recording.

Multi-instrumentalist Knut Reiersrud, fiddle player Annbjorg Lien, drummer Helge Norbakken and multi-instrumentalist Matthias Eick (double-bass, trumpet and vibraphone), bring a palette of vibrant colors and textures to the recording. I Always Expect to Find features understated guitar, sultry trumpet, and the chime of vibraphone. In fact, this is the second Norwegian recording in the past weeks in which I am greeted by Eick's crystal-clear trumpet. (The other CD was Jacob Young's Sideways).

The traditional folk inspired The Bark Flute features the deft playing of fiddler Lien, who anyone listening to Scandinavian music would be acquainted. Within just the span of the first three tracks, we have already traversed from jazz to a more traditional fare. And Bratland's vocals travel through this musical landscape with surefootedness. He brings that same attribute to the remainder of this tribute recording, offering a few surprises along the way.

This year marks the centenary celebration of Poet Olav H. Hauge. Bratland's work has been informed by Hauge's poetry for many years. This elegant recording with its soulful musicianship and earnest vocals could only be seen as a compliment by any national poet. And I suppose this recording also celebrates Bratland's 70th decade and the music he has gifted his audiences with over the decades.

To learn more about Sondre Bratland's recordings go to KKV

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