The Swedish reedplayer Fredrik Nordström goes here to «Terra Incognita», to some musical paths which he in spite of his numerous albums never has walked before.. His new release Needs remarkably differs from his earlier production.
«Needs» is almost like an ordinary double quartet album but only almost. Here is the ’normal’ double crew of two bass players, two drummers and two reeds but the brass ’section’ has been divided to trumpet and trombone.
Nordström has the ability to make a 3-4 horn players’ band sound like a larger ensemble with a rich and colourful sound. And that’s the case once again here though the basic line-up differs from his usually used formats.
Typical to Nordström is, for example, to have vibraphone as the only harmony instrument in his band, so no pianos or guitars involved. The main basics for the full-bodied band sound is in the horns. No harmony instruments here either.
He is also good at picking up his fellow musicians, always some top soloists. On «Needs» that comes very clear on «House of Tales» which is largely based on collective improvisation.
From album to album his trustees have been Filip Augustson on bass and the drummer Fredrik Rundqvist. They are on once again though this time they don’t play together. Augustson teams with the drummer Christopher Cantillo and Rundqvist’s partner is Torbjörn Zetterberg on bass.
Nordström mainly playes his tenor sax but on «Brand New Dollars» he gives an excellent proof of his talents with the baritone with his powerful solo. Ljungkvist plays equally well his both horns and on the light, slightly latin flavoured riff based Morning Blues he plays an excellently shining clarinet solo. Both Äleklint and Barnö have space for their great solo work, too.
Fredrik Nordström keeps up his high nice quality.
Fredrik Nordström (ts, brs), Niklas Barnö (tp), Mats Äleklint (trb) Filip Augustson (b), Torbjörn Zetterberg (b), Christopher Cantillo (dr), Fredrik Rundqvist (dr).