With a sharp attack that calls to mind Curtis Fuller or Kai Winding and an understated manner that compares favorably with such legends as Bill Harris or Urbie Green, trombonist Ola Åkerman leads his Swedish–based quintet through its bop–centered paces in a program that consists of seven of his original compositions, the standard “Cry Me a River,” Luis Bonfa’s “Gentle Rain” and Stevie Wonder’s “Another Star.” On “Chili” and “Jättens Kliv” ( Steps of the Giant,
based on Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”) the group is augmented by guests Nordqvist, Hängsel and Vincent Nilsson who do little more than form a burnished trombone choir, while pianist Karlzon sits in and guitarist Leijonhufvud steps aside on “Gentle Rain.” Åkerman dedicates “F & M” to his children, Filippa and Maja, “S” to his wife, Susann, “Stevie” to singer/songwriter Wonder. His compositions, efficient but otherwise unremarkable, are well–played by the quintet with Åkerman and Leijonhufvud accorded the lion’s share of! solo space. The fast–paced “Jättens Kliv” and “Chili” are highlights, as are the more unhurried “Cry Me a River” and “Gentle Rain” (to which Karlzon appends an elegant solo). A solid, workmanlike date by a well–coordinated quintet and its guests.
Track listing: F & M; På Jobbet; Cry Me a River; Chili; S; Stevie; Taxi; Gentle Rain; Jättens Kliv; Another Star (52:18).