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Kristallen

Nils Landgren & Jan Lundgren

Kristallen

Format: CD
Label: ACT music
UPC: 0614427962829
Catnr: ACT 96282
Release date: 10 January 2020
Buy at PlatoMania
1 CD
Buy at PlatoMania
 
Label
ACT music
UPC
0614427962829
Catalogue number
ACT 96282
Release date
10 January 2020
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

The sound world of “Kristallen” relishes the moment when the surfaces and edges of crystals shimmer and cast off unexpected colours. There is a certain stillness, and also room for the imagination to unfold. Magic with fragility. Nils Landgren and Jan Lundgren have a consistent vision of lyrical chamber jazz which flows gently and naturally. Rather than clamouring for our attention, this is music which reveals its true beauty the more attentively one listens.

The tone of the album is set from the opening track, “Blekinge”, a reminiscence of the tranquil part of Sweden from which Jan Lundgren hails. It is sublimely light yet thoughtful, a subtle musical language which draws on Swedish folk music and tinges it with jazz. The next track “Byssan Lull” follows on seamlessly: a solemnly intoned folk melody develops into a lively blues. “Hornlåtar” features delightful interplay between trombonist and pianist who take some of the traditional short horn calls from the Swedish tradition and subtly adapt them. This track brings back memories of the 1997 duo recording with Esbjörn Svensson, “Swedish Folk Modern”. Two other pieces also have a profound personal significance for Nils Landgren: “Olu” was on his album ”Gotland” (1996), recorded with Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko who died in 2018. Finally, “Värmlandsvisan” is a homage to Landgren’s native land. In addition to his own compositions, Jan Lundgren has included tunes by two inspirational pianists: “Country” by Keith Jarrett and “The Wedding” by Abdullah Ibrahim. To complete the selection, there are also pieces from the Great American Songbook and Beatles songs.

The wonderfully instinctive way in which Nils Landgren and Jan Lundgren interact could already be admired on the Leonard Bernstein tribute “Some Other Time”. Now with just the two of them, their sixth sense, their authentic feeling for the same musical styles is all the more evident. A Nordic spirit, deeply romantic emotions, impressionistic colouring and an affirmation of the American jazz tradition: all of these pervade “Kristallen” and bring a special magic to it. Through their deep affinity and their cohesion, this duo has meticulously shaped a radiant and many-hued musical diamond.

Artist(s)

Jan Lundgren (piano)

In his youth, Jan Lundgren was often seen as one of the greatest talents in tennis since Björn Borg. Thankfully, he has since changed allegiances. Lundgren, born in Kristianstad in southern Sweden on March 22nd 1966, and raised in Ronneby, Blekinge, had his first piano lessons at age five. He was soon discovered to have an exceptional musical talent. After a long period of classical training, he discovered jazz more or less by chance in the late 1980’s. He was instantly hooked, rapidly absorbed the jazz piano tradition from Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner to Bud Powell and Bill Evans, and acquired a depth of knowledge of the Great American Songbook like possibly no other European jazz pianist. While sailing through his studies at the...
more

In his youth, Jan Lundgren was often seen as one of the greatest talents in tennis since Björn Borg. Thankfully, he has since changed allegiances.

Lundgren, born in Kristianstad in southern Sweden on March 22nd 1966, and raised in Ronneby, Blekinge, had his first piano lessons at age five. He was soon discovered to have an exceptional musical talent. After a long period of classical training, he discovered jazz more or less by chance in the late 1980’s. He was instantly hooked, rapidly absorbed the jazz piano tradition from Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner to Bud Powell and Bill Evans, and acquired a depth of knowledge of the Great American Songbook like possibly no other European jazz pianist.

While sailing through his studies at the renowned Royal College of Music in Malmö (where he was purportedly accepted on the condition that he occupies the piano chair in the legendary « Monday Night Big Band ») he also took up a busy schedule as a professional musician that quickly helped to build his reputation in Sweden. Discovered by Swedish bebop legend Arne Domnérus, he frequently played with other Swedish stars like Putte Wickman and Bernt Rosengren.

Lundgren’s debut album “Conclusion” was released in 1994, and propelled his career firmly forward. The following year saw the formation of the Jan Lundgren Trio with long time student associates Mattias Svensson (bass) and Rasmus Kihlberg (drums), who was replaced in the beginning of the year 2000 by the Dane Morten Lund. This steady band recorded seven well-received and commercially very successful albums for the Swedish label “Sittel” in the period up to 2003. The album “Swedish Standards”, released in 1997 even became a bestseller and reached a place in the Swedish pop charts. But the album “Landscapes” (2003) sold comparably and both releases soon became classics due to their linking Swedish folk music and jazz. The band’s intense tour schedule founds a temporary peak in a concert at Carnegie Hall as part of “Swedish Jazz salutes the USA”.

As a sideman, Lundgren has accompanied such greats as Johnny Griffin, Benny Golson, Herb Geller, James Moody, Pete Jolly or singer Stacey Kent. He has also shared the stage with ACT-artist Ulf Wakenius a number of times.

Jan Lundgren has been awarded a number of prizes since the early 90’s: In 1997 “Swedish Standards” became “best jazz album of the year”. He was nominated for the “Swedish Grammy” in 1995, 1997 and 2008 and the “Swedish Django d’Or Prize” in 1998, 2001 and 2002.

Having visited a long list of European territories and venues, Lundgren has also been on extended tours of Australia and Japan. He has visited the USA about 15 times and recorded some well-received albums for the label “Fresh Sound” (with, among others, pianist Lou Levy and trombonist Andy Martin).

In 2006 Lundgren becomes part of the ACT family: Initially he was featured as a sideman on the Ida Sand album Meet Me Around Midnight (ACT 9716-2). In July 2007 he released his first ACT album Fresu – Galliano – Lundgren: Mare Nostrum (ACT 9466-2), followed by Magnum Mysterium (ACT 9457-2), which will be released in November of 2007.

In 2008 Lundgren could reap the fruits of his labour, and his Mare Nostrum was performed in front of sold out houses on prestigious stages throughout Europe (Salle Gaveau – Paris, Tonhalle – Zurich, Victoria Hall – Geneva, Teatro Dante Aligheri – Ravenna, S. Caecilia – Rome …) as well as at Jazz Baltica, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Istanbul Jazz Festival. There are many good reasons why the band has been called “the first European super group”.

In the same year Lundgren was honoured with the Swedish Django d’Or, and began a collaboration with the classical trumpet player Hǻkan Hardenberger and the Swedish writer Jacques Werup – an exiting melange of modern classical and free music, of jazz and compositions of Jan Lundgren.

Lundgren also brought the Jan Lundgrun trio back to life in 2008, albeit with a new drummer, Zoltan Csörsz Jr. who proved to be a truly lucky catch for the trio. A new repertoire has resulted in the new ACT album European Standards (ACT 9482-2) which will be released in Mai 2009 together with the re-release of Swedish Standards (ACT 9022-2) from the ACT Jazz Classics series.

Jan Lundgren is part of a remarkable and long tradition of innovative pianists from Sweden like Jan Johansson who passed away early, and in more recent times Bobo Stenson and Esbjörn Svensson. Lundgren has never made life easy for himself, and has always tried to utilize his phenomenal technique to enhance his musicality. His ability to integrate the most disparate musical influences into a fascinating whole is unique in itself. Whether its contemporary classical music, the inexhaustible northern folk tradition or the pulsating groove of jazz, deeply rooted in Afro-American music: Lundgren has a unique way of leading the listener on a voyage of discovery – sometimes relaxed, sometimes utterly invigorating - through his highly individual soundscapes.


less

Nils Landgren (vocals)

Tender-hearted yet tenacious, Nils Landgren is a world-class artist. His Funk Unit’s groove is irresistible, and The Man with the Red Horn himself has led the band through their highly successful run of CDs, and in rapturously received concerts everywhere from Stockholm to Beijing. 'Funk is my Religion' is the band’s eleventh album – the album title just says it all. Landgren and his Norsemen bring a passion, an intensity and a freshness to their craft which has remained undimmed since the start. For more than 25 years, jazz-funk has been the force driving Landgren. This veritable elixir of life produces the bubbling energy, groove and joy that can be heard and felt in every note of the music. The...
more
Tender-hearted yet tenacious, Nils Landgren is a world-class artist. His Funk Unit’s groove is irresistible, and The Man with the Red Horn himself has led the band through their highly successful run of CDs, and in rapturously received concerts everywhere from Stockholm to Beijing. "Funk is my Religion" is the band’s eleventh album – the album title just says it all. Landgren and his Norsemen bring a passion, an intensity and a freshness to their craft which has remained undimmed since the start. For more than 25 years, jazz-funk has been the force driving Landgren. This veritable elixir of life produces the bubbling energy, groove and joy that can be heard and felt in every note of the music. The band’s deliciously easy and laid-back vibe gets straight through to audiences. With the crispness of their funk rhythms, blazing brass, cool vocals and persuasive melodies, a new chapter for the Nils Landgren Funk Unit is only just beginning.

less

Composer(s)

Jan Lundgren (piano)

In his youth, Jan Lundgren was often seen as one of the greatest talents in tennis since Björn Borg. Thankfully, he has since changed allegiances. Lundgren, born in Kristianstad in southern Sweden on March 22nd 1966, and raised in Ronneby, Blekinge, had his first piano lessons at age five. He was soon discovered to have an exceptional musical talent. After a long period of classical training, he discovered jazz more or less by chance in the late 1980’s. He was instantly hooked, rapidly absorbed the jazz piano tradition from Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner to Bud Powell and Bill Evans, and acquired a depth of knowledge of the Great American Songbook like possibly no other European jazz pianist. While sailing through his studies at the...
more

In his youth, Jan Lundgren was often seen as one of the greatest talents in tennis since Björn Borg. Thankfully, he has since changed allegiances.

Lundgren, born in Kristianstad in southern Sweden on March 22nd 1966, and raised in Ronneby, Blekinge, had his first piano lessons at age five. He was soon discovered to have an exceptional musical talent. After a long period of classical training, he discovered jazz more or less by chance in the late 1980’s. He was instantly hooked, rapidly absorbed the jazz piano tradition from Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner to Bud Powell and Bill Evans, and acquired a depth of knowledge of the Great American Songbook like possibly no other European jazz pianist.

While sailing through his studies at the renowned Royal College of Music in Malmö (where he was purportedly accepted on the condition that he occupies the piano chair in the legendary « Monday Night Big Band ») he also took up a busy schedule as a professional musician that quickly helped to build his reputation in Sweden. Discovered by Swedish bebop legend Arne Domnérus, he frequently played with other Swedish stars like Putte Wickman and Bernt Rosengren.

Lundgren’s debut album “Conclusion” was released in 1994, and propelled his career firmly forward. The following year saw the formation of the Jan Lundgren Trio with long time student associates Mattias Svensson (bass) and Rasmus Kihlberg (drums), who was replaced in the beginning of the year 2000 by the Dane Morten Lund. This steady band recorded seven well-received and commercially very successful albums for the Swedish label “Sittel” in the period up to 2003. The album “Swedish Standards”, released in 1997 even became a bestseller and reached a place in the Swedish pop charts. But the album “Landscapes” (2003) sold comparably and both releases soon became classics due to their linking Swedish folk music and jazz. The band’s intense tour schedule founds a temporary peak in a concert at Carnegie Hall as part of “Swedish Jazz salutes the USA”.

As a sideman, Lundgren has accompanied such greats as Johnny Griffin, Benny Golson, Herb Geller, James Moody, Pete Jolly or singer Stacey Kent. He has also shared the stage with ACT-artist Ulf Wakenius a number of times.

Jan Lundgren has been awarded a number of prizes since the early 90’s: In 1997 “Swedish Standards” became “best jazz album of the year”. He was nominated for the “Swedish Grammy” in 1995, 1997 and 2008 and the “Swedish Django d’Or Prize” in 1998, 2001 and 2002.

Having visited a long list of European territories and venues, Lundgren has also been on extended tours of Australia and Japan. He has visited the USA about 15 times and recorded some well-received albums for the label “Fresh Sound” (with, among others, pianist Lou Levy and trombonist Andy Martin).

In 2006 Lundgren becomes part of the ACT family: Initially he was featured as a sideman on the Ida Sand album Meet Me Around Midnight (ACT 9716-2). In July 2007 he released his first ACT album Fresu – Galliano – Lundgren: Mare Nostrum (ACT 9466-2), followed by Magnum Mysterium (ACT 9457-2), which will be released in November of 2007.

In 2008 Lundgren could reap the fruits of his labour, and his Mare Nostrum was performed in front of sold out houses on prestigious stages throughout Europe (Salle Gaveau – Paris, Tonhalle – Zurich, Victoria Hall – Geneva, Teatro Dante Aligheri – Ravenna, S. Caecilia – Rome …) as well as at Jazz Baltica, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Istanbul Jazz Festival. There are many good reasons why the band has been called “the first European super group”.

In the same year Lundgren was honoured with the Swedish Django d’Or, and began a collaboration with the classical trumpet player Hǻkan Hardenberger and the Swedish writer Jacques Werup – an exiting melange of modern classical and free music, of jazz and compositions of Jan Lundgren.

Lundgren also brought the Jan Lundgrun trio back to life in 2008, albeit with a new drummer, Zoltan Csörsz Jr. who proved to be a truly lucky catch for the trio. A new repertoire has resulted in the new ACT album European Standards (ACT 9482-2) which will be released in Mai 2009 together with the re-release of Swedish Standards (ACT 9022-2) from the ACT Jazz Classics series.

Jan Lundgren is part of a remarkable and long tradition of innovative pianists from Sweden like Jan Johansson who passed away early, and in more recent times Bobo Stenson and Esbjörn Svensson. Lundgren has never made life easy for himself, and has always tried to utilize his phenomenal technique to enhance his musicality. His ability to integrate the most disparate musical influences into a fascinating whole is unique in itself. Whether its contemporary classical music, the inexhaustible northern folk tradition or the pulsating groove of jazz, deeply rooted in Afro-American music: Lundgren has a unique way of leading the listener on a voyage of discovery – sometimes relaxed, sometimes utterly invigorating - through his highly individual soundscapes.


less

Nils Landgren (vocals)

Tender-hearted yet tenacious, Nils Landgren is a world-class artist. His Funk Unit’s groove is irresistible, and The Man with the Red Horn himself has led the band through their highly successful run of CDs, and in rapturously received concerts everywhere from Stockholm to Beijing. 'Funk is my Religion' is the band’s eleventh album – the album title just says it all. Landgren and his Norsemen bring a passion, an intensity and a freshness to their craft which has remained undimmed since the start. For more than 25 years, jazz-funk has been the force driving Landgren. This veritable elixir of life produces the bubbling energy, groove and joy that can be heard and felt in every note of the music. The...
more
Tender-hearted yet tenacious, Nils Landgren is a world-class artist. His Funk Unit’s groove is irresistible, and The Man with the Red Horn himself has led the band through their highly successful run of CDs, and in rapturously received concerts everywhere from Stockholm to Beijing. "Funk is my Religion" is the band’s eleventh album – the album title just says it all. Landgren and his Norsemen bring a passion, an intensity and a freshness to their craft which has remained undimmed since the start. For more than 25 years, jazz-funk has been the force driving Landgren. This veritable elixir of life produces the bubbling energy, groove and joy that can be heard and felt in every note of the music. The band’s deliciously easy and laid-back vibe gets straight through to audiences. With the crispness of their funk rhythms, blazing brass, cool vocals and persuasive melodies, a new chapter for the Nils Landgren Funk Unit is only just beginning.

less

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