Berger Knutsson Spering

Berger Knutsson Spering

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Berger Knutsson Spering may sound like the name of a Swedish law firm, but it's actually a pianoless avant-garde jazz trio consisting of drummer Bengt Berger; alto, soprano and baritone saxman Jonas Knutsson; and bassist Christian Spering. Free-spirited yet focused, this inside/outside session (recorded in Stockholm) shows how musical avant-garde jazz can be. As stream-of-consciousness as things get on material by Ornette Coleman ("Feet Music," "Latin Genetics"), Don Cherry ("Butterfly Friend") and BKA members themselves, the improvisers never sound directionless. They don't shy away from dissonance or abrasiveness, but they aren't afraid to be melodic either. Another strong point of this self-titled CD is the players' multicultural outlook -- their arrangement of the traditional "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" acknowledges Celtic culture, whereas Berger's pieces "Todi Tuesday" and "No Natten" have a strong Middle Eastern flavor. There's something enlightened about three Scandinavians successfully embracing an art form that was created by American Blacks and combining it with everything from Irish to Arabic music. Released by the Stockholm-based Amigo Musik, this disc appeared in the U.S. as an import.