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Martin Högberg is a Swedish guitarist who lives in Trondheim, Norway. His perspective of jazz corresponds with his own debut album, «Panorama», and do suggests a panoramic view of the legacy of jazz: «standing upon a lonely Norwegian mountain, gazing from afar at the Jazz and other improvised music from the United States, Europe and beyond». You can argue if you can actually get such a panoramic view from a lone Norwegian mountain or how far beyond Högberg is willing to take his version of jazz but there is no doubt that his music is rooted in the jazz legacy.

Högberg is accompanied on «Panorama» by an experienced Norwegian rhythm section of double bass player Aksel Jensen and drummer Håkon Mjåset Johansen. Högberg tone is gentle, light and reserved, serving the folksy, song-like melodies but careful not to trespass into unchartered, more open terrains. His colleagues, especially Johansen, allow themselves to flow in a looser, more substantial and colorful interplay along Högberg, breezy, disciplined lines.

The cover of John Lennon-Paul McCartney’s «Your Mother Should Know» and the «Tribute to Wes», the seminal jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, stress Högberg refined, innocent aesthetics, reserved and always revolving a strong melodic core. «Lament» with its urgent, rhythmic focus that suggests a different kind of the trio interplay, sharper and tighter one, is the only exception in this set of tender, straight ahead melodies.

Eyal Hareuveni

Martin Högberg (g), Aksel Jensen (b), Håkon Mjåset Johansen (dr)

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