Gunnar Bergsten

The Good Life

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A cool-toned baritone saxophonist whose sound falls somewhere between Lars Gullin and Gerry Mulligan, Gunnar Bergsten is a fine bop-oriented improviser. This set is purposely limited, with most of the songs taken at slow tempos and none faster than a slow-medium pace. Supported by pianist Peter Nordahl, bassist Patrik Boman and drummer Rune Carlsson, Bergsten mostly plays melodically on such jazz standards as "Lover Man," Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now," "Don't Take Your Love From Me" and "The Midnight Sun Never Sets." The only lesser-known selection is Bernt Rosengren's "Give Me a Kiss." Bergsten's set, from the Swedish Arietta label, is enjoyable and well-played, even if it lacks any real surprises.

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