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Starting out as a Hank Marvin-influenced rock guitarist with The Vanguards, Rypdal turned towards jazz in 1968 and joined Jan Garbarek’s group and later George Russell’s sextet and orchestra. An important step towards international attention was his participation in the free jazz festival in Baden-Baden, Germany in 1969, where he was part of a band led by Lester Bowie. During his musical studies at Oslo university and conservatory, he led the orchestra of the Norwegian version of the musical Hair. He has often recorded with ECM, both jazz-oriented material and classical compositions (some of which don’t feature Rypdal’s guitar). Today, Rypdal is an important member of the Norwegian jazz community. His collaborations as guitarist and composer with other ECM artists Ketil Bjornstad and David Darling in 90s are also noteworthy. In those compositions he found a way out of jazz and classical compositions to a modern and more avant-garde unique style.
Musically conspiracy at the highest level. “Music is conspiracy. The secrets we exchange – when it is at its best, there are no words,” is Terje Rypdals own words about his new band. The guitar giant who since the 60s has paved the way for a completely separate way of expressing guitar, music and composition , turns 70 in 2017. Terje Rypdal Conspiracy is by no means an isolated commemorative project. “In my mind I started this band a long time ago,” reveals Rypdal and tells enthusiastically about the desire to play with a bassist again. The cooperation with Elephant9 has been and still is fruitful, “so we are already tight,” says Rypdal on bassist Nicolai Eilertsen, “and Ståle Storløkken I have played with virtually since kindergarden!”. Then Rypdal recalls an audio recording of a concert in Copenhagen in ’81, with a drumming he never had heard before. It was Palle Mikkelborg, Sveinung Hovensjø – and Pål Thowsen on drums. “He is the musician in Norway that plays as Tony Williams,” says Rypdal
The music Terje Rypdal Conspiracy presents will be composed of older material, mainly from the Chasers- and Odyssey period, in addition to some new material. They will perform the songs they rarely played live, and new versions of the songs that have been played. “It’s an incredibly tight band. It’s like Chasers at its most powerful,” says Rypdal himself. The band will eventually do a recording for ECM. “It’s the start of a new era for me”, says Rypdal.
Endre Hareide Hallre, Bass
Pål Thowsen, Drums
Ståle Storløkken, Organ / Piano
Terje Rypdal, Guitar