Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal composes winter light trance music so still it seems an aural analogue of watercolor landscapes. His glacial tempos and droning organ chords which set off spiralling guitar figures recall some of Pink Floyd, but Rypdal’s sources are closer to avant-garde classical than rock. His music has changed only
slightly, here to accommodate trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg’s choked high tones and his own deep flute and piano colors. One Rypdal record is enough for any collection, though the subtle lyricism of Descendre makes it a fine companion to his masterpiece, After the Rain. Bart Testa
BEETHOVEN: THE NINE SYMPHONIES Conducted by Eugen Jochum (Angel/ EMI, 8 discs)
Eugen Jochum is arguably the touchstone among living conductors of the German and Viennese classics with his
perfect sense of equilibrium between the Dionysiae and the Apollonian. In the early Beethoven symphonies he spins the fast movements along like tops and coaxes the slow ones gently for their secrets; in the titanic later symphonies some movements seem branded with fire. There’s a demonic scherzo, for example, and an ecstatically breathless choral finale in the Ninth which set the seal on an already distinguished set. It is sad that Angel’s recordings aren’t quite resonant enough for the full lustre of the London Symphony Orchestra’s playing. John Pearce
ROMANCE AT THE ROXY Mlchaele Jordana (Attic/CBS)
Something defiant and declamatory about Jordana’s vocals inspires comparison to Patti Smith, but there is also a naïve toughness that, at least remotely, echoes Ronnie Spector. The heroine who becomes queen of the Cannibal Kids, after all, is named Lisa. Nevertheless, on her debut album, the former lead singer of The Poles (two members remain in the four-piece backup band, most notably keyboard whiz and animating force, Douglas Pringle) projects a kind of bold girlishness all her own. From the danceable opening of the title cut, through a heavy-metal cover of Alice Cooper’s I'm Eighteen, a progressive rockabilly original called Hologram Man (Jim Jimmy), to the immortal C.N. Tower (a remix of The Poles’ single), she traces a dramatic passage from moony innocence to high-voltage assertiveness. Outstanding cuts include XRay Robot, familiar to her followers, and a new song—Ell Do What You Want (But I'll Do It My Way) —a characteristic sentiment mixed with a beguilingly primitive beat. David Livingstone
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