Sweden has long been a fertile ground for good jazz singers. There is the redoubtable Alice Babs, Nannie Porres and Lina Nyberg to mention just a few. Now comes Lindha Svantesson with her second album as a leader presenting a play list of her own compositions, except for the album's coda and outpost of respite, "The Meaning of the Blues". Svantesson is from the avant-garde, or free, school of jazz, with her voice rising above a pandemonium of sound created by her fellow musicians. Depending upon where you come from, this album may be viewed as a wounded cry for deliverance from life's unpleasant experiences or a clutch of cats caterwauling on the back fence at midnight. If one seeks some melody and harmony underpinning the music, it won't be found here. Some of the songs are short, with no more than a line or two of lyrics. Others have more to say. But to find out what they say, you have to read the lyrics printed in the liner notes. With all the racket going on, I found it impossible to understand one word Svantesson was singing. That is, except for the last tune on the play list. While Bobby Troup's ditty is dressed in modern jazz garb, one discovers that Svantesson has a nice voice which comes through, despite the clanging cymbals.
This album requires a lot of work to understand, much less enjoy. One listen is no where near enough to appreciate what's going on. And what's going on is free jazz which, if it's your bag, get this adventurous album.