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På skive


«Tonpoem 2021-2022»

Swedish trumpeter Emil Strandberg has always put improvisation first, over the years has played with such heavyweights as Sten Sandell, John Russell, Paal Nilssen-Love and Mats Gustafsson (in the original line-up of the Fire! Orchestra). Strandberg composed and organized Tonpoem 2021-2022 for an ensemble improvisation. The task of his quintet – longtime comrade, double bass player Pär-Ola Landin, guitarist Kasper Agnas, his brother cellist Mauritz Agnas (who played in Strandberg’s Prosodier, Haphazard Music, 2020) and drummer Andreas Hiroui Larsson, was to place notes in time and in relation to the fellow musicians, in an exchange of tonal and rhythmical ideas varied at moment’s notice.

Strandberg asks: «What, then, is the meaning of Tonpoem (tone poems)? The connection between this music and poetry is mostly interest in form, in composition in the broadest sense: putting together a functioning whole without unnecessary parts». Tonpoem 2021-2022 was recorded at Atlantis Studios in Stockholm in January and April 2022. It offers eleven short, chamber pieces that reflect AStrandberg’s austere approach.

Strandberg’s gentle, singing tone articulates the theme of these pieces but leaves enough space – literally – for the other musicians to improvise, interpret and ornament the melodic veins. The music flirts with post-bop and even Dixieland and highlights the close, emphatic dynamics of the quintet. But it reaches its most beautiful and emotional climaxes on the introspective, lyrical pieces like «Grindfårans cirkelkvadrant», «Rubato amoroso» and «Apropå tjäle», all rooted in the legacy of Nordic jazz, where Strandberg’s compositional and ensemble improvising ideas radiate his poetic sensibility.

Eyal Hareuveni

Emil Strandberg (tp, piccolo tp), Kasper Agnas (g), Mauritz Agnas (c), Pär-Ola Landin (b), Andreas Hiroui Larsson (dr)


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