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På skive


«Composer in Residence»

Swedish pianist-composer Cecilia Persson was the Artist in Residence for Norrbotten Big Band during 2014, following acclaimed musicians from both sides the Atlantic who filled this role as trumpeter Tim Hagans, Swedish drummer Peter Danemo and this year Danish double bass player Anne Mette Iversen. Persson is known from Lina Nyberg and Paavo (with vocalist Sofia Jernberg) groups, released a promising solo album, «Open Rein» (Hoob, 2014), and won two times the Swedish public radio’s award, «Jazzkatten», in the composer’s category.

Persson album with the big band highlights her unique compositional skills and ideas about employing the orchestra. She had one year to work with the Big Band and to compose new music for it. She began her work with interviews and improvisation exercises with all the musicians in the Big Band. Persson later changed the set-up of the Big Band, arranging the horn players seats close to the piano trio so they can see and hear each other better.

Persson compositions for the Norrbotten Big Band are structured with variable elements that allow her and the Big Band to change the dynamics on every performance and leave enough room for personal improvisations and interpretations. The compositions rarely follow linear narratives or use the full power of the Big Band and are developed as multifaceted, nuanced and colorful suites, as a collection of short, like-minded themes and stories, even if featuring only one soloist as sax player Karl-Martin Almqvist on the opening «Lulu».

The complex, 16-minutes «Låba & Månen» demonstrates best Persson ambitious compositional skills. It integrates contrasting courses as played by the horns, the piano trio and individual soloists, all charge the restless dynamics with a fresh sense of fragile emotional core, well-crafted tension and drama, enabling to explore new meanings and fast-shifting ideas with every new listening. Her moving homage to the late Swedish pianist-composer Bengt Hallberg, «Till Bengt Hallberg», offers an impressive palette of dark, melancholic colors, highlighted with a beautifully piano solo by pianist Alexander Zethson. The last composition, «En by om en skön», also feature a hidden, untitled track, the most ‘outside’ piece here, energetic, sometimes even chaotic, coda to Persson work with the Norrbotten Big Band.

Eyal Hareuveni

Cecilia Persson (cond), Håkan Broström (as, ss, sfl, fl); Peter Fuglsang (as, cl, blc), Jan Thelin (as), Mats Garberg (ts, fl), Karl-Martin Almqvist (ts, cl), Robert Nordmark (ts, hidden track), Per Moberg (bs, fl), Bo Strandberg (tp, flh), Magnus Ekholm (tp, flh), Dan Johansson (tp),  Jacek Onuszkiewicz (tp), Elin Andersson (tp, hidden track), Peter Dahlgren (tb), Arvid Ingberg (tb), Urban Wiborg (tb), Peter Fredriksson (tb, hidden track), Björn Hängsel (btb), Alexander Zethson (p), Nils Ölmedal (b), Peter Nilsson (dr)

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