Apr 11 2016
Recommended: Einar Scheving – “Intervals”
Each and every expression of drummer Einar Scheving‘s mix of Icelandic folk and modern jazz is just brimming with confidence. It’s why his lullaby melodies resonate with the striking clarity of lucid dreams and why the hushed chatter of percussion calms and soothes while keeping the idea of sleep a distant thought. On his newest, Intervals, Scheving doesn’t go about reinventing the wheel built on his excellent 2007 debut Cycles or his equally solid 2011 release Land Mins Fodur, but instead just keeps it rolling down the same path that leads to one beautiful scene after the other.
Tracks like “Long Island City,” title-track “Intervals” and “Enjoy the Silence” allow the pulse rate to rise and transcend the predominant tranquility, but never to the point of eclipsing it. And then there are tracks like “Heiði” and “Róm” that embrace a drifting ambiance and allow the melodies to shake off their intended form, even if just for a little while. But where you’re going to find the heart of this album is in tracks like “Hvert örstutt spor,” “Yonee” and “Kjarr,” where Scheving’s quartet pours out the melody like water from a carafe and goes about accentuating the details and nuance as if they were sparkles of sunlight shining of the tiny rivulets and streams that broke off from the source.
Simply, a beautiful recording. Pretty sure if Scheving’s quartet weren’t creating music, they’d simply apply the same talents and become sunrise builders. Gorgeous music.
Your album personnel: Your album personnel: Einar Scheving (drums, percussion), Eyþór Gunnarsson (piano), Óskar Guðjónsson (tenor sax) and Skúli Sverrisson (electric bass).
This album is Self-Produced.
Listen to additional album tracks at the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from the Reykjavík, Iceland scene.
Available at: Bandcamp | CDBaby | Amazon
Also, be sure to check out Scheving’s other two recordings, Cycles and Land Mins Fodur. Despite my packed listening schedule, I always find time to sneak in a listen to both recordings… especially on a weekend morning when the snow is falling and I’ve got nowhere to go.
Also, worth noting, while I never officially created a Best of 2011 list for this site (which opened shop in December 2011), Land Mins Fodur was included in my Best of 2011 recap columns… for good reason.
Read about Cycles (LINK).
Read about Land Mins Fodur (LINK).
April 12, 2016 @ 10:23 pm
Hi Dave, I’m glad you’re back to your reviews. A couple things I know about you… You love beautiful music and you are deep into metaphors: “…pours out the melody like water from a carafe and goes about accentuating the details and nuance as if they were sparkles of sunlight shining of the tiny rivulets and streams that broke off from the source.” Wow. However, don’t you think their music is a little, well, soporific? I think my wife may like it a little more than I do as I prefer stuff that is more, well, dynamic. By the way, you recommended an album earlier this year – Trees, by PJ5 which is amazingly dynamic. Am just listening to their previous album, Word, which may even be better, although a little mellower. Thanks for your reviews and metaphors Robert
April 13, 2016 @ 6:54 pm
One thing I’ve never quite identified conclusively is why certain albums that have a similar sound can cause such diverse reactions, but when it comes to music that’s tranquil and makes its living with nuance, I tend to rely more on trust that, even if I can’t pinpoint the direct sources, something subtle and below the surface is triggering my excitement on one album whereas on another, it sends me off snoozing. For me, it’s no different than how one fireplace view can keep me enchanted for hours, just riveted by the curls of flame and gentle pop of sparks off wood, but other fireplace scenes knock me out cold. Something about Einar Scheving’s music has consistently placed it in the former category. I expect results will vary.
It swing the other way for me for an artist like Tord Gustavsen, whose music may as well come packaged in an Ambien bottle for all the effect it has one me. Bobo Stenson, also, to a lesser degree. On the other hand, Marcin Wasilewski brings me to life each and every time.
In any event, I now have three Einar Scheving recordings on my shelf, and each one of them gets airplay on my stereo not infrequently. That kind of thing will get an artist some column space on this site.
That’s awesome you’re into that PJ5 Trees. That album continues to grow on me. It is hard to classify. I saw that they had a previous recording when I was looking for audio to embed on Trees, but haven’t sat down to give it a listen yet. Your recommendation will probably change that.
Your man of metaphors,
April 14, 2016 @ 1:50 am
Good thoughts Dave, and eloquently expressed. I’m very glad that so many of your recommendations have turned me on to music I really, really enjoy. Some have just knocked me out. For instance, I don’t know if you really got into that album Silent Understanding by Double Pulse, but it just kills me every time I hear it. But for you, it just might be interesting.
That previous one by PJ5, Word, is more enjoyable that Trees for me. It’s a truly a unique album with 5 miniature songs under two minutes, plus an 11 min suite with soaring wordless vocals. It’s just something else. Trees goes to more extreme musical worlds; Word just delivers powerfully without overdoing it. Love it.