Swedish sax player Fredrik Nordström has turned in an impressive debut with the release of Urgency. Not only is he a fine player, he is a fine composer as well, as shown by this program of all-original compositions. The tunes display a range of styles that show Nordström is well familiar with jazz history. Boppish heads can move into decidedly more modern territory, with his sensitive band never missing a beat. Nordström's soloing is great as well, with a nice tone (on both tenor and soprano) and original ideas and phrasing that never lose sight of the melody. The eight-piece band plays more like a small combo than a small big band, with a nice, open sound. His choice of instrumentation is interesting also, with two trumpets and two trombones accompanying Nordström's tenor, and vibes taking the place of piano in the rhythm section. Drummer Fredrik Rundqvist and vibes player Mattias Stahl deserve special mention for their coloring of the music, but this really is Nordström's show. Urgency is a strong first album from someone to watch. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard