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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove



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JAN LUNDGREN
Swedish Standards
Act  9022-2 

 

 

 

 
1. Solen Glimmar Blank Och Trind
2. Sommar, Sommar, Sommar
3. Joachim Uti Babylon
4. Uti Var Hage
5. Visa Vid Vindens Angar
6. Min Polare Per
7.Waltz-a-Nova
8. Sag Det Med Ett Leende
9. Min Blekingsbygd
10. Nu Har Jag Fatt Den Jag Vill  Ha 
 
Jan Lundgren - Piano
Mattias Svensson - Bass
Rasmus Kihlberg - Drums

 

This session was recorded back in 1997 but it sounds like a new release, partly because of the way the trio plays and partly because the recording is particularly live and has great clarity. The music may be unfamiliar to British ears, as indeed it was to me, but these Swedish standards are doubtless as familiar to people in Sweden as the works of Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, etc. Certainly all are well structured compositions and provide plenty of scope for improvising jazz musicians. Lundgren and his extremely well integrated rhythm partners take full advantage. There is a buoyancy in all the playing on this album and nowhere is it more pronounced than on the first track: Solen Glimmar Blank Och Trind.  The piano lines positively float along, light as air. 

Sommar, Sommar, Sommar  flies along at lightning tempi with Kihlberg providing fills at the end of each opening piano run. Lundgren appears to take the up-tempo flights in his stride, tearing along regardless as bass and drums seem to be working very hard to keep up with him. Kihlberg again gets a solo spot and his brushwork is flawless both in accompaniment and when soloing. Not too many drummers seem to have the knack of playing well at low volume with brushes but this one does. The rich clarity of the recording points up the big sound of Svenssonís bass. 

Uti Var Hage is a melodic slow ballad, a contrast to what has gone before, introduced by Svenssonís big, ripe bass and continued with delicate, lyrical piano lines. The trio inject a good measure of pathos into this short selection. The next track demonstrates the trioís ability to play in 5/4 time at up tempo in a less dramatic and flowery manner than Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmondís Take Five but effective for all that. Waltz-a-Nova is gentle, reflective and rather Bill Evans-inspired I would think. It is a credit to Lundgren that he is able to get so much variety into his programme of music and at the same time produce fascinating variations on everything he plays. He was impressive on the Fresh Sound discs he made a short time ago with a top U.S. bassist and drummer but I think overall he functions best with his own musicians who probably know him well and have played and recorded with him frequently. Best of all here is a  wonderfully evocative, short solo reading of Nu Har Jag Fatt Den Jag Vill Ha which rounds out and closes a thoroughly enjoyable set.  

 

Derek Ansell

 

 

 



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