Swedish national treasure, vocalist-composer-songwriter-bandleader Lina Nyberg celebrates her 22nd album with her working band for the last fourteen years – pianist Cecilia Persson, guitarist David Stackenäs, bassist Josef Kallerdahl and drummer Peter Danemo. The ever-creative Nyberg already employed her band for the acclaimed Terrestrial trilogy («Sirenades», «Aerials» and «Terrestrial», 2014, 2016 and 2018, Hoob), where she composed new music about our planet and the elements and augmented her band with a big band, string quartet and a symphony orchestra, and later expanded her quintet into a tentet («The Clouds», Hoob, 2020).
«Anniverse» returns to the core band format and offers eleven songs, eight of them are originals, one is an iconic standard, another one is Schumann’s lieder and the third is a song of Earth, Wind and Fire, all inspired by the months of the year, and all written by the members of the band in close collaboration. Nyberg asked her band to give her some words that they associated with a specific month. She then wrote lyrics, sent them back and forth and let the musicians compose. This beautiful cycle of songs highlights, again and again, not only Nyberg’s gifts as a composer, poetic vocalist and resourceful and generous bandleader but also the essential contributions of Persson, Stackenäs, Kallerdahl and Danemo, all of them lead their own bands and projects, to this band identity. «Anniverse» was recorded at the Atlantis Metronome in Stockholm in February 2022.
Nyberg and her band take «Anniverse» on a colorful tour between shifting moods and vivid sceneries, all sketched with imaginative sensibilities, elegance, and deep emotional intelligence. This cycle of songs begins with the playful «Januari», still enjoying the New Year’s Day memories but already missing the spring light. Nyberg’s «February March» is a beautiful and dramatic song that disperses the winter melancholia with its touching lyrics. Vernon Duke and Yip Harburg’s standard «April in Paris» is re-invented as a lone bittersweet memory of a long-gone love. «June» tells with poetic natural metaphors about the demise of a relationship that leaves only «silent sympathy». The whole band joins Nyberg in the chorus of «Julian», repeating a loving plea. Earth, Wind & Fire’s «September» is stripped from its infectious, funky rhythms to its basic pulse, and Nyberg serenades its sensual lyrics as she is clinging to every memory of these steamy September nights. «The October Storm» and «November» demonstrate the organic and emphatic dynamics of this jazz band. The last song «Dear September» closes this cycle and returns to the winter, lonely domestic melancholia, expressed beautifully by Nyberg and her band, but promises: «Yes, we will all always survive / But now we must say goodbye». Counting on that comforting promise.
Lina Nyberg (v), Cecilia Persson (p, v), Peter Danemo (dr, live elec, v), David Stackenäs (g, v), Josef Kallerdahl (b, v)