Jan Lundgren

Jan Lundgren Trio Plays the Music of Victor Young

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Pianist Jan Lundgren is a jazz musician much in the mold of such '60s icons as Dave Brubeck and Horace Silver. Lundgren's measured and crisp technique give him an edge in bringing challenging, modern jazz to a wider more populist audience. He plays in an "in" style reminiscent of many late-'50s to early-'60s musicians but always seems to be able to add a harmonic nod toward the future. Similarly, Victor Young, one of the most prolific Hollywood composers during the 1940s, produced some of the most performed songs in jazz history. These "standards" with their unique combination of hummable melodies over complex harmonic arrangements fit perfectly with Lundgren's style. This immensely listenable session opens with a gorgeous rendition of "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You" featuring vocalist Stacey Kent. Kent has a sweet, sprightly, utterly irresistible voice that is the perfect introduction to the rest of this well-paced album. Juxtaposed to Kent's light, swinging approach is adventurous vocalist Deborah Brown who combines the best improvisatory abilities of Betty Carter and Ella Fitzgerald. Brown joins Lundgren and bandmates, bassist Mattias Svensson and drummer Rasmus Kihlberg on songs such as "Stella By Starlight" and "Beautiful Love." Rounding out the disc is the legendary tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin who brings his ruddy, warm sound to the up-tempo "A Weaver of Dreams" and "When I Fall in Love."

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