Three years past since the Swedish-Danish, Malmö-based group Perssons Sexa released its self-titled debut album. In the meantime this group, headed by alto sax player-composer Jens Persson, expanded from a sextet into an octet, with the addition of trumpeter Ellen Pettersson and soprano sax player Karolina Almgren. Persson Sexa sophomore album, «Vol. II», also offers illustrations of Karl Persson, an artist with the Asperger syndrome, who interpreted in his own special way the group nine songs.
As on its debut album, Persson compositions are based on strong, melodic themes, incorporating into the octet jazz sensibility elements of pop-songs, soul and even hip- hop. The expanded personnel enabled Persson to emphasize the individual voices of this group and explore more nuanced atmospheres and different modes of interplay that cements the new sound of the Persson Sexa.
Perssons Sexa songs on «Vol. II» develop patiently, gravitate into a strong, empathic interplay that always serves the melodic core. Often one of the solo parts challenge this sympathetic vein and charge the melodic theme with some dramatic tension. Persson himself takes such role on «Sjung för fan», trombonist Petter Hängsel on «Antablues» or guitarist Tobias Ekqvist on «Everyone’s grudge».
Still, the most beautiful pieces here highlight Persson unique melodic sensibility. «Europa», «Sånglåt» and «Glitch» all featuring arresting solos of pianist Oscar Johansson, or the the chamber-jazz arrangement for three horns for the Hirokazu «Hip» Tanaka theme from the Super Nintendo game «Earthbound».
Jens Persson (as), Karolina Almgren (ss), Ellen Pettersson (tp), Petter Hängsel (tb), Tobias Ekqvist (g), Oscar Johansson (p), Johannes Vaht (b), Kristoffer Rostedt (dr)