Utla - Song
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cd cover NOR-CD, Norway (www.norcd.no)

The trio of Håkon Høgemo (hardanger fiddle), Karl Seglem (sax and ram's horn) and Terje Isungset (various percussion and jew's harp) has a big sound, a spacious, rattling noise that implies but never executes jazz. On Song they are joined by one of Norway's great secrets, singer Berit Opheim, who ought to be one of the nation's best known vocalists.
It's a pure folk voice, made all the more marvelous in a setting like this where Seglem's raw horns and Høgemo's brittle fiddle offer a platform for a remarkable, soaring sound. Isungset wraps all this with unpredictable tempos and unnerving plunks, plops and thumps from all manner of percussive noise devices. This spare, un-chorded music offers the singer remarkable space, miles of sonic elbow room to deliver her folk songs, hallings and herding calls with abandon and real personal style, finding the in-between places that make this music so energizing. - CF

Available from cdRoots

Audio: "Hulderdam" ©2003 NOR-CD, Norway

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