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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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A Beautiful Friendship
Honouring Jay & Kai
Swedish Jazz

PCD 085


  1. Falcon
  2. Penthouse
  3. High Altitude Delivery
  4. The Good Life
  5. When Lights are Low
  6. The Hammer Theme
  7. Winter
  8. Being Alive
  9. My wedding Shoes
  10. You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to.
  11. All These Days
  12. A Beautiful Friendship

Karin Hammer - trombone, vocals
Mimmi Petterson Hammer - trombone, vocals
Ronnie Gardiner - Drums
Mathias Algolsson - Piano
Martin Sjoestedt - Bass

I have always been a great fan of the original J J Johnson, Kai Winding Quintet, although short lived, it made a deep impression on the jazz world. It is therefore a daunting task for anybody to produce a ‘tribute’ album, to such a fine band. The Sliding Hammers have done a great job here, producing an album well worthy of their purpose. I don’t feel I am being sexist when I say that these two young ladies from Sweden play the trombone ‘manfully’. The reason for choosing that phrase is because there have been relatively few female trombone players in jazz, the late Melba Liston of course being one very notable exception.

The whole quintet is worthy of great praise, the rhythm section is first class and they must be a real joy to play with. The record is well put together from a programming point of view, a nice mixture of original compositions, plus standards from a wide variety of sources. I don’t know very much about Karin & Mimmi and the very attractive sleeve note is not very forthcoming in that department, but my guess would be that they are products of an excellent musical education. They both have a great sound and they have obviously absorbed the basics of the jazz genre very effectively, enabling them to produce worthwhile improvisations on any theme as well as playing sympathetically together.

Favourite tracks? ‘When Lights are Low’ is a very attractive version of this nice standard, but ‘A Beautiful Friendship’, is also particularly well played. I like the opening track ‘Falcon’ an original by pianist Mathias Algolsson, who is worthy of high praise for his performance throughout.

The Sliding Hammers both have a great sound on their instruments, a very good range and the ability to play together well and improvise well, they have the benefit of a rhythm section which is a class act.

They would steal the show at any jazz festival, promoters take note!

This is a quality album and I recommend it without reservation.

Don Mather

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