Trygve Seim

Rumi Songs


NORWEGIAN saxophonist Trygve Seim has a remarkable talent for creating music that gets under the listener’s skin with albums such as the magisterial Sangam and a superb collection of duets with accordionist Frode Haltli, Yeraz.

He’s done it again with these settings of poems by the thirteenth century Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Rumi on which he’s joined again by Haltli and another past collaborator, cellist Svante Henryson in a quartet with Norwegian mezzo-soprano Tora Augestad. Not your average jazz ensemble, for sure, and yet among songs that range in mood from meditative to nursery rhyme-like are some that sound like distant relatives of jazz ballads.

Like Every Other Day is a good example, with Haltli’s undulating accordion the perfect foil for Augestad’s exquisite phrasing and Seim’s searching tenor. Seim has spent much time in Egypt and his playing on both tenor and soprano is soulfully enriched by middle eastern voicings. There are also flavours from India and, less predictably, Argentina, as cello, sax and accordion dance something close to a tango.

Rob Adams