The Jonas Kullhammar Quartet: The Soul of Jonas Kullhammar (2002)
Jonas Kullhammar, a young Rollins and Coltrane–inspired postbopper, bares his soul on this gregarious quartet session recorded without a net in July ’01 at the Glenn Miller Café (exact location unknown). Kullhammar, who was then twenty–three, wrote everything except Trane’s “Your Lady,” and his sunny compositions provide an excellent jumping–off point for tight group interaction and extended solos, which is what this concert date is all about. Kullhammar doesn’t hesitate to explore the upper and lower reaches of his tenor sax, and while I don’t find his more labored ad–libs especially persuasive, there’s certainly no denying his commitment or enthusiasm. There are times when Kullhammar sounds quite close to Rollins, others when he dives off the deep end to swim with such freestyle specialists as Coltrane, David Ware, Archie Shepp, Von Freeman or Pharoah Sanders, for whom the album’s closing number is named. I know nothing about Kullhammar’s companions (there are no liner notes) except that each of them is an impressive sharpshooter. Gulz plays Fender Rhodes throughout, and in his capable hands the oft–maligned instrument is a pleasure to hear. Bassist Zetterberg is limber and dynamic, drummer Holgersson eager and responsive. Kullhammar moves closest to Rollins on the galloping “Horseface,” which encompasses some of his most charismatic blowing (and ardent solos by Gulz and Holgersson). He abandons the tenor only once, playing baritone for a chorus or two on “Your Lady.” This is audacious if not always eloquent contemporary Jazz, awash in soul and underlining the talents of four noteworthy musicians.
Track Listing: Snake City West; Oh, My God / It’s Blood; Horseface; Your Lady; Chico Chico; Round About the 9th of October; Medalj; Pharoah (73:17).
Personnel: Jonas Kullhammar, tenor, baritone sax; Torbj