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«Red House Tapes»

The Swedish Red House Tapes trio was born out of a long-term collaboration between the three Agnas cousins – drummer Nils, pianist Max and double bass player Mauritz, who have played, discussed and explored music for most of their lives together. During the Covid-19 pandemic, and with no prospect of live music, the Red House Tapes decided to play together two concerts in an empty concert venue in the form of a red small cottage out in Vallentuna in Greater Stockholm.

The nine original short pieces of the debut album of Red House Tapes were documented in these two concerts. It is a DIY project. The three cousins are responsible for the recording. Max and Nils did the mixing and Nils the cover art. The self-titled album is a limited-edition of 100 discs.

This trio sounds as if it was not missing the audience. The music relies on jazz legacy, flows in a natural and leisured mode, and anchored by strong melodic and playful themes. You can sense the great affinity between the three cousins as the interplay of the trio is very open and democratic, and there is very little tension building in the pieces, except for «Mr. Mikes». But the trio does not surrender to jazz clichés, even when it adopts familiar forms like on «Ps Pace». The music of Red House Tapes succeeds to capture the uplifting joyfulness of experiencing a live performance from up close. Few of the pieces, like the playful «Cembalo Jump», in its two versions, and the gentle ballad «Unlucky Luke», will linger on long after listening to this album.

Eyal Hareuveni 

Nils Agnas (dr), Mauritz Agnas (b), Max Agnas (p)

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