Swedish, Stockholm-based drummer Dennis Egberth has worked with the free-jazz quartet Se och Hör (with sax player Anna Högberg), the Mambo Noir Trio (with pianist Matti Bye and double bass player Vilhelm Bromander), avant-kraut troupe Horse (with members from Dungen and Viagra Boys) and the pop band The Hanged Man. He brings his eclectic tastes to «Dennis Egberts första», his debut album as a bandleader and the first one to be released by his own label, DEg.
Egberth began to compose music for this album in the early mornings of the autumn of 2018, while his newborn baby was still asleep. He played the piano very quietly not to wake anyone up, and soon enough seven compositions emerged. These compositions paint a colorful and optimistic atmosphere where «a dreamlike shimmer where both mythological creatures and birds of paradise, as well as licorice pastilles, fit in», as he tells it.
His music moves freely between spiritual free jazz to Swedish folk songs and even visits contemporary music (Egberth mentions musique d’ameublement, a term coined by Erik Satie for background music, and the styles derived from it like ambient music). Egberth enjoys the company of like-minded, genre-hopping comrades – Bromander, violinist Katt Hernandez, clarinetist Isak Hedtjärn, and pianist and synth player Johan Graden. The album was recorded at Örnsbergs Musikstudio in February 2020.
«Dennis Egberts första» suggests a varied program, leaving generous room for personal interpretations by all the musicians, and Egberth’s energetic playing. The album begins with the chamber, swinging melody of «Palo Santo», moves to the romantic folk song «Syrinx» and settles on a beautiful and exotic, hypnotic-meditative groove on «Magenta», a piece that brings to mind the spiritual music of Alice Coltrane. The following «Sjösabrinken» employs extended bowing and breathing techniques of Hernandez and Hedtjärn and offer subtle and ethereal, melancholic melody. «Leijona» is a playful, uplifting song and «Lophorina» continues this vein and adds shiny and bright colors to the interplay. The last piece «180908» is another beautiful, atmospheric, chamber texture, that demonstrates again Egberth’s compositional skills.
Katt Hernandez (vio), Isak Hedtjärn (cl), Johan Graden (p, synth), Vilhelm Bromander (b), Dennis Egberth (dr)