Jerker Lindström

Deliberate Sounds

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Made on the occasion of his 30th birthday in 1996, Swedish saxophonist Jerker Lindström proves he is no flash in the pan. Though this is his first album as a leader, it might as well be his tenth. His sense of compositional skill, arrangement, and leadership skills on the stand are irrefutable. Lindström's approach to jazz at the end of the 20th century was one where hard bop met modalism met the new jazz, and swung hard. With his sextet he doesn't necessarily bridge gaps, nor does he look for and exploit them. Lindström's finest moment here is on "Birth," a seven-and-a half-minute smoker with dueling saxophones (courtesy of altoist Per Johansson) and a killer chromatic harmonic inversion by pianist Torbjörn Gulz. The gorgeous piano and bass intro of "Invisible Thoughts" is marked by a shimmering interval for bass and piano. It's almost a dirge except for those lush chords by Gulz. Filip Augustsson doesn't keep time so much as he pronounces it, leading in the saxophones, trumpeter Magnus Broo, and drummer Henrik Wartel, who rolls his way through each phrase until the intervals begin to shift and blur, each becoming more dynamic than the last without a significant tempo change from waltz time. When the knotty, angular melody lines kick in, allowing for a call-and-response drum solo by Wartel, the harmonics chosen by Lindström are fluctuating, colored by the inflection of brass and reed until the solos insert themselves into the maelstrom, gently at first and then with increasing drive and urgency. It all balances out with a flourish of blues belting and shouting that recalls Mingus. This is a heck of a debut; watch for it.

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