Needlepoint is a Norwegian band that was founded in the year 2010 by composer guitarist Bjørn Klakegg. Together with bassist Nikolai Ellertsen and drummer Thomas Stronen the band started as a trio. Thomas was in 2014 replaced by percussionist Olaf Olson, two years after keyboardist David Wallumrod joined the team. After the releases “The Woods Are Not What They Seem” (2010), “Outside The Screen” (2012) and “Aimless Mary” (2015) the Norwegian label BJK Music has released the new album “The Diary Of Robert Reverie” in June 2018. The band operates in the fields of Psychedelic, (Prog)Rock and Jazz Fusion.
Bjorn Klakegg - vocals, guitars, bass On Will It Turn Silent; David Wallumrod - Hammond organ, clavinet, Rhodes, Juno 60, Prophet 5, Arp Pro soloist, harmony vocals on All Kinds Of Clouds and In The Sea; Nikolai Haengsle - electric bass, guitars on Beneath My Feet, harmony vocals on Beneath My Feet and In The Sea; Olaf Olson - percussion, harmony vocals on On The Floor and In The Sea
For me this is the first acquaintance with the music of Needlepoint. So I don’t know if I will agree with all the name dropping mentioned on the info sheet about their previous albums. Some of those names are applicable to the music you will find on this album. All the songs on this album, which is less than 40 minutes long, are composed by Bjørn Klakegg. The album opens with a song called “Robert Reverie”. Musically speaking the name Robert could be a reference to Robert Wyatt. The music generates memories of the Canterbury Scene (especially to the band Caravan) and Jazz Fusion band’s of the Seventies. The Caravan connection is generated with me by the vocals of Bjørn and the use of keyboard sounds from the seventies. It is more about the style of singing, but the voice of Bjørn Klakegg has a slightly resemblance to the voice of Richard Sinclair. The music (especially the keyboards) develops more in a kind of Jazz Fusion that reminds me of bands like Weather Report and Return To Forever. This continues in the next song “On The Floor”. Typical Weather Report keyboards (Joe Zawinul) in the opening but also references to bands like Mahavishnu Orchestra and keyboards who reminds of bands like Matching Mole, Hatfield And The North and National Health. The music gives a nice picture of this period of time. After a Weather Report like keyboard opening the music of “All Kinds Of Clouds” is definitely inspired by the music of the Canterbury scene. However the hectic way of drumming made me think of Mahavishnu Orchestra. The band slows down with the beautifully sung songs “Will It Turn Silent” and “In My Field Of View”. Only accompanied by a jazzy guitar and/or some percussion these songs are sung by Bjørn in a delicate way. “Grasshoppers” could have been a song on a Caravan album. The song ends abruptly and leave the listener with a feeling of ... how could this song develop further? This feeling I also have with the next song “Beneath My Feet” because this song has a fade out after barely three and a half minutes. But on the other hand it gives a wonderful contrast to the opening of “In The Sea” which is a very beautiful song. A song with lovely melodies and nice vocal harmonies. The album closes with a song called “Shadow In The Corner”. Love the used keyboards in this song which unfortunately also has a a fade out in the end.
“The Diary Of Robert Reverie” the forth Needlepoint album is a short album which gives you a nice image of the seventies. The music is a lovely melting pot of music that is influenced by the Canterbury scene and the upcoming Jazz Fusion scene of the seventies. Don’t be surprised if you have to think of bands like Caravan, Matching Mole, National Health, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra while listening to this fine album. The only minus points of the album are that the album (like a vinyl album of the seventies) is less than 40 minutes long and that some of the songs have a fade out. That feeling of a vinyl album is strengthened by the fact that on the digipak you will find a track-listing that is split into a Side A and Side B. I enjoyed listening to this album very much. Just check it out for yourself.
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