Terje Rypdal’s “Odyssey: In Studio & In Concert” is a very special release. It includes not only the complete “Odyssey” album (recorded 1975) on CD for the first time (restoring the long track “Rolling Stone” to its rightful place), but also a full disc of previously unreleased material on which Terje Rypdal’s Odyssey band is augmented by the Swedish Radio Jazz Group in a 1976 live performance of Rypdal’s suite “Unfinished Highballs”.
In the liner notes, Rypdal tells John Kelman, “Odyssey was my first major band, and the music was different too because, more and more, I was writing music in two layers – one thing going on with the bass and drums, and rubato playing layered over the top. It was the first time I’d to connect with a band, more about writing together with improvisation. It was a challenge; I was trying to bring together the composer and the player.” Rypdal’s ideas of form and freedom are beautifully sculpted and registered in Manfred Eicher’s widescreen production.
John Kelman: “The release of ‘Odyssey’ in its entirety, along with the significant revelations of ‘Unfinished Highballs’, comes when Rypdal is in a period of renewed creativity and activity, making it especially relevant as a more complete document of how confluence, at an early stage in his career, ultimately led to the further multidisciplinary junctions that keep his music as fresh and relevant as he approaches 65.”
“I’m very happy this is coming out”, Rypdal says, “because I’ve been asked, before ‘Crime Scene’ was released, if I’d written anything for big band. I think this is a very important part of my career: I’m very glad “Rolling Stone” is finally coming out; and ‘Unfinished Highballs’ will be a surprise to a lot of people. That’s what I really like about this box – that it can accomplish both at the same time.”