One Poem, One Painting
consists of music composed by pianist Lars Jansson to mark the 500th anniversary of the Swedish municipality of Uddevalla. What is conspicuous from the outset is that within the framework of modern big–band Jazz, Jansson writes spellbinding musical poetry and sketches luminous portraits in sound. There are nine selections on this generously timed album, and none is less than compelling. No less persuasive is Bohuslän itself, easily one of Europe’s most polished and sophisticated Jazz orchestras, its various sections well–stocked with world–class musicians who are unfazed by any challenge. Not only do they play exceptionally well together, each one is an impressive soloist as well. Many are given a chance to corroborate or disprove that appraisal, and none of them presents any reason to amend it. Jansson’s music, always rhythmic and melodious, swings at any and all tempos, and if we prefer the faster numbers (“500 Years,” “No Doubt,” “Presence”), that is a matter of personal taste and is in no way meant to besmirch the others; to the contrary, there is nothing on the album that doesn’t earn the highest marks for structure and resourcefulness. Returning to the soloists we alluded to, Jansson himself is outstanding on “500 Years,” “This and That,” “Man with the Umbrellas,” “3 Heartbeats,” “Red Leaves” and “Marionett,” as are trombonists Olofsson (“500 Years”) and Andersson (“No Doubt”), saxophonists Borgström (“This and That,” “No Doubt,” “One Poem, One Painting”) and Ingemarsson (“This and That,” “Red Leaves,” “Presence,” “Marionett”), trumpeter Norén (“No Doubt,” “Presence”), flutist Forslund (“Red Leaves”), bassist Mori (“3 Hearbeats”), drummer Kjellberg and percussionist Raahauge (“500 Years”). At the risk of over–selling the product, the opinion here is that One Poem, One Painting
is in every respect as admirable a big–band recording as any I’ve heard this year.
Track listing: 500 Years; This and That; The Man with the Umbrellas; No Doubt; 3 Heartbeats; Red Leaves; One Poem, One Painting; Presence; Marionett (73:59).
Lars Jansson, composer, arranger, piano, synthesizer; Niklas Robertsson, alto sax, bass clarinet; Johan Borgstr