Odd-Arne Jacobsen: “While I Was Crossing The Bridge” – interpretive creativity and performance skills

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Musician, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire, Odd-Arne Jacobsen has worked with most of the leading artists in his home country of Norway, in both theatre and music, and has also presented his craft internationally. He has had his own television show in Russia, as well as a solo concert at the Moscow International Jazz Festival, and has toured the USA, Mexico, Russia, France, China, Kuwait, Scotland, and Japan. In 1990 he undertook a solo concert of his own compositions in New York, becoming the first Norwegian guitar player ever to hold a solo concert in Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Apart from his own solo projects, Odd-Arne has also performed with world famous guitarist Jan Akkerman from the legendary progressive rock band Focus.

Odd-Arne Jacobsen has recently released his brand new 5 track recording for solo guitar, “While I Was Crossing The Bridge”, out on OAJ Records. There are only a couple of other guitarists who have impacted my heart and soul to the degree that Odd-Arne music does: they go by the names of Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery and Andres Segovia.

Odd-Arne music is a gift to the world – there for anyone, anywhere, at any time – that is given with pure love. He’s a rare musical genius who decided to make the most and give the most from his talents.

With that said, “While I Was Crossing The Bridge” is another very tasty Odd-Arne Jacobsen recording. For one, the solo guitar arrangements on “41”, “Besame Mucho”, “Cherokee”, “All Things You Are” and “Flow My Tears” seem both creative, melodic and hauntingly beautiful. Secondly, his use of light and shade, adds a dimension to the music that takes it beyond category.

Odd-Arne also makes use of tremendous sound texture without overburdening the ear. He seems to know exactly what he is looking for in a musical piece, finds it, and then executes it perfectly. Combine that with his overall compositional, arranging and interpretive brilliance, and we have an artist that we can only hope will inspire other musicians to go beyond category and genre and simply create beauty straight from the heart.

On “While I Was Crossing The Bridge”, Odd-Arne Jacobsen shows us how he systematically deconstructs, scrutinizes and rebuilds a track to become a very personal expression, probably unlike you’ve heard anybody else in jazz and classical guitar music do.

Particularly impressive are his creative workings on Consuelo Velázquez’s “Besame Mucho”, Ray Noble’s “Cherokee”, and “Flow My Tears” – a song that John Dowland originally composed for the Lute. Mix equal parts of Odd-Arne Jacobsen’s interpretive creativity and his performance skills, and this is what you get…an absolutely brilliant piece from beginning to end.

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