Swedish sax player-composer Niklas Persson is known for his Kvintetten Som Sprängdes. Persson has founded a new Sextett featuring trumpeter Emil Strandberg, pianist Rasmus Borg (the only musician in the new band played in the Kvintetten Som Sprängdes), guitarist Anders Ahlén (who hosted Persson in his own Unit), double bass player Vilhelm Bromander and drummer Andreas Axelsson (who also plays in Anders Ahlén Unit). The new band recorded its debut album Kampen at BAS Stockholm in August 2021.
Persson composed the six pieces, relying on the distinct voices of the new Sextett. He leads the Sextett with a commanding tone, and his clever compositions juggle with playful elements of modern jazz, powerful free jazz and intimate, chamber jazz. The title of the album hints about tense and temperamental dynamics, but the complex music flows with no confrontations and with supportive and empathic interplay.
Persson finds in Strandberg a true soulmate and their conversational, entangled solos on «Back to The Roof» are remarkable. «Livsfarlig I Hamn Oduglig Till Havs» alternates between a ballad with beautiful solos of Borg, Ahlén and Strandberg to powerful eruptions of the Sextett, and is driven by the propulsive rhythm section of Bromander and Axelsson. The Sextett moves to an Ayler-ian, muscular free jazz mode on the jubilant «Fil. Katt», and changes course, again, on the following, the beautiful, emotional ballad «Roland K», most likely a homage to recently departed sax player Roland Keijser. This promising album is concluded with the ironic and playful «Stilettvardag», with Mingus-ian addictive rhythmic patterns, that cement the rich musical language and vision of Persson.
Niklas Persson (as, sopranino s), Emil Strandberg (tp), Rasmus Borg (p), Anders Ahlén (ac.g), Vilhelm Bromander (b), Andreas Axelsson (dr)