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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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ERIK SODERLIND

Happening

Prophone PCD 106

 

 

1. Places
2. Tfk
3. New Room
4. Song for my Lady
5. Aldrig Mer
6. Grandmother's Dream
7. Train Tickets
8. Meja's Vamp
9. Sister Sadie
10. My One and Only Love
11. Syster Yster
12. Alicia

Erik Söderlind - Guitar
Kjell Ohman - Organ
Kenji Rabson - Bass
Moussa Fadera - `Drums
Fredrik Lindborg - Tenor sax (tracks 9, 11)

 

Here we have what is virtually an organ trio with a bassist added - which presumably saves the organist from having to supply the bass line on the pedals. The group is led by Swedish guitarist Erik Söderlind, who in many respects is reminiscent of Wes Montgomery. He even plays Montgomery-like octaves at times.

Söderlind's previous album was called Twist for Jimmy Smith, suggesting that Erik sees his group as following the tradition of organ groups which was set by Jimmy Smith from the 1950s onwards. But here the focus is not so much on the organ as on the guitar - and rightly so, because Söderlind is a virtuoso player as well as a talented composer. He wrote seven of the twelve pieces on this album and they exhibit an emphasis on melody which reminds me of Pat Metheny's groups with Lyle Mays.

New Room is an attractive Latin-American theme, while Toots Thielemans' Song for My Lady is delivered as an unaccompanied guitar solo by Erik which ends all too soon. Grandmother's Dream and My One and Only Love are soulful ballads with some lovely playing from Söderlind. Train Tickets shuffles along like a train in Metheny style. The album ends with Alicia, which Erik plays alone on the classical guitar.

Erik is well served by the other members of the group. Kjell Ohman is a useful organist, although he lacks the punch that Jimmy Smith put into his organising. Bassist Kenji Rabson lays down a steady bass and adds some neat solos. Drummer Moussa Federa plays precise drum fours in such tracks as Tfk and Aldrig Mer. Tenorist Fredrik Lindborg joins in to add to the funkiness of Sister Sadie and Syster Yster.

Erik Söderlind is a fairly new name on the jazz scene but you should be hearing more of him in years to come.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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