Lars Sjösten

Early

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A top pianist from Sweden, Lars Sjösten had been working quite steadily with bassist Sture Nordin and drummer Fredrik Noren when in 1970 he was given a chance to record his first album. The only stipulation was that all of the compositions that he would record had to have originated in Sweden. That was an easy condition to meet, for Sjösten contributed two of his own songs, a pair of Lars Gullin compositions, and other material including jazz adaptations of traditional folk songs. A few numbers had either a trumpeter or a baritonist added and three songs added the "Dolls," a group of three female singers who added atmosphere to the date. Early features that entire album plus Sjösten's three-part 18-minute suite "The Red Cars" (showcasing each of the members of his trio) which was previously unreleased, and four numbers from a set led by the brilliant clarinetist Putte Wickman. There is a lot of music on this CD (over 79 minutes) and the quality is consistently high, falling stylistically somewhere between swing, bop, and hard bop. Recommended.

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