Various Artists

Musica Sveciae: Adventures in Jazz and Folklore, Vol. 4

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Swedish jazz in the 1960s explored, among other avenues, the beautifully melancholic nature of traditional Swedish folk music, fusing it with a bop and swing sensibility, creating something that was -- at its best -- refreshingly unique. Some of the country’s best jazz outfits, including the Bengt-Arne Wallin Orchestra, the Jan Johansson Quintet, the Georg Riedel Orchestra, the Bengt Hallberg Orchestra, and the Georg Riedel Ensemble, were commissioned to interpret various folk pieces from the Swedish Radio archives for a 1965 radio broadcast. The broadcast was then issued as an LP that same year, and this set is yet another CD version of the original LP. It’s a remarkably coherent album in any context, defining a very particular moment in Swedish jazz, but it’s also remarkably prescient, foreshadowing trends in world music and jazz that wouldn’t appear fully above water for another decade or more.