A “disciple” of Jan Garbarek, Trygve Seim (b. 1971) is a Norwegian saxophone player and composer whose playing is informed by different Asian and Middle-Eastern traditions of wind instruments. As early as 2001, following the release of his international début album for the ECM record label Different Rivers, critics recognised that Trygve Seim sounded like “no kind of sax player you’ve ever heard – more like wind in trees, or chimneys, or wooden flutes.” (John Fordham – The Guardian)
Trygve Seim’s textured sound is very much in evidence in “Kyrie”, the opening track from Purcor – Songs for saxophone and piano, his 2010 collaboration with liturgical composer and pianist Andreas Utnem. The album mainly consists of variations around traditional hymns or folk songs that would normally be played for church services. Described as “improvised church music” by Andreas Utnem, the recording is the result of an informal collaboration that spans 14 years.
That “Purcor” was recorded at an Oslo church, rather than a recording studio, makes perfect sense: the recital-like and deeply spiritual nature of this collection of deceptively simple originals, traditional tunes and improvisations benefits from a third member to the group: the sound of the church, itself. John Kelman – All About Jazz