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cd cover Vintermåne is vocalist Anne Gravir Klykken, sax man Frøydis Grorud, and keyboard player Torjus Vierli. Together, they have a sound that is tender and languid, if somewhat phlegmatic. Klykken has a confident, practiced soprano that never overwhelms the material, which is a collection of traditional Norse songs and newly composed art songs. Vierli's touch on acoustic and electronic keys is warm and subtle. Grorud is a sensitive player, but teeters a little too close to the Kenny G precipice much of the time. The pacing is slow throughout, giving the whole a pensive quality. Though it drags a bit, the disc has enough tonal interest to at least keep the listener awake. "Gud bære oss for vor kjellarmand" is a sneaky, jazzy number that spotlights guest musician Jørn Simenstad on seljefløyte.
Amazing what a groovy solo one can put together with only three or four notes. Klykken and Grorud handle the limping rhythm and angular melody of "Jondølen" quite handily with some close parallel play. Klykken keens expansively on "Skunda deg du jenta" over Vierli's machine-gun-attack, Bruce Hornsby-influenced piano. This is one of the few times the tempo goes above a slow walk. Unfortunately, they run out of breath again with the cloying "Hjå Gud er alltid gleda," with its predictable melody, tinkling percussion, and Muzak-y sax. This is a really talented group of musicians. With a little more bite and a little more variety in the pacing they'd really have something. - Peggy Latkovich

CD available at cdRoots

Audio: (p)(c)2002, 2L, Norway

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