The Jack Brothers

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Before 2001, the Jack Brothers were extremely unproductive when it came to album releases, only releasing three albums in 16 years, and they were mostly known for their irreverent John Coltrane interpretations…
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Before 2001, the Jack Brothers were extremely unproductive when it came to album releases, only releasing three albums in 16 years, and they were mostly known for their irreverent John Coltrane interpretations and as street musicians. With their second album, they started to be acknowledged by the critics, but the Jack Brothers were true to their roots and kept on playing in the streets of Göteborg. So in 2001, they suddenly turned into what may have been one of the most productive bands ever, with their decision to release an album a month, one for every month of the French revolution calendar.

In 1984, saxophonist Jonas Åkerblom, formerly a member of Position Alpha, came back from Germany and met up with actor and drummer Kylén in Göteborg. Tired of sophisticated free-form jazz and concept music, they formed the duet Jack Brothers. In 1988, jazz bassist Bellnäs joined the still fairly unknown band and the following years they played in the streets of their hometown, as well as in some jazz clubs. While having recorded cassettes to sell in the streets, it took until 1994 for the band to get their self-titled debut album out. It was released on their own label, Slask, and contained covers of songs composed by such different artists as Elmore James and Sonny Rollins, everything played in the Jack Brothers' own raw, rocky jazz style, or maybe R&B with straight-on pounding drums, by themselves compared to punk. The next album was King Coltrane, consisting exclusively of Coltrane compositions, to which the Jack Brothers had added their own lyrics and, on some songs, verses from Shakespeare. The album reached some foreign jazz magazines and the reviewers were on the whole very appreciative of the irreverent and bold treatment of such highly adored material. But instead of leading them to fame, the album got the Jack Brothers into unexpected trouble. It was the act of putting their own lyrics to licensed songs that made a number of license holders file complaints against the album. The Jack Brothers were able to reach an agreement with all of them except for the most important one, the widow of Coltrane. The album had to be withdrawn and could not be sold again until two years later, when a deal was finally settled. Viva la Revolución was released in 1999 on Amigo, only containing original compositions and showing more rock and blues influences. In 2001, it was followed by another project inspired by the French revolution. The band was to release one album every month, naming them after the months in the French revolutionary calendar, each with a different musical style. Nivôse -- Kärlek På Svenska was released in January, followed by the free-form Pluviôse -- Spräck in February, and the bluesy Ventôse -- Blues in March.