Anders Jormin: Between Always And Never (2013)
It's amazing that he finds time to eat his smörgåsbord.
Perhaps he doesn't.
Jormin was born in Jönköping in southern Sweden and wrote this orchestral work for that exceedingly dull city's Sinfonietta and Chamber Choir. The only recognizable jazz passages are those of him playing bass.
His for the most part gently melodic music underpins texts by Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, two Danish poets and himself. These are sung by Lena Willemark. All meditate on life, which Jormin sees "a mystery vibrating from the soil," a turn of phrase that brings to mind that lovable English radio character Farmer Fallowfield, precursor to Rambling Syd Rumpo.
The lilting, melancholic, "Aviaja," (a Danish girl's name), sets the scene, leading into "Haiku." Jormin solos lyrically, underpinned by the orchestra before Willemark's soaring voice interprets his text, basedas the title implieson the Japanese poetic form.
Jormin's famed ability to make his low register instrument sing is heard to best advantage on "Sol Och Måne (Sun And Moon)"a truly remarkable solo this. In the passage that follows the orchestra is so inspired it comes close to swinging.
But the mood inevitably darkens on the title piece, "Mellan Alltid Och Aldrig (Between Always And Never)," by Pia Tafdrup, which contains some startling (not to mention unlikely) imagery, "en tid när stenen börjar att blodar (a time when the stone starts to bleed)."
On "Eviga Tanke (Eternal Thought)" Willemark goes in for some incomprehensible whispering before spacey musical effects reminiscent of Pink Floyd in the good old psychedelic sixties.
In its deadly serious, Germanic way, this album is culture with a capital K, but it's been put together with a lot of care and is worth persevering with.
Track Listing: Aviaja; Haiku; Kärleksvisa; Vägen Är Öde; Sol Och Måne; Dans Ur Stenars Tystnad; Mellan Alltid Och Aldrig; Shakespeare Cogitato; Kärleksvisa Tryptyk; Dans Till Solens Lek; Eviga Tanke; Hemingway Cogitatio; M.
Personnel: Anders Jormin: bass; Lena Willemark: vocals; Jönköping Sinfonietta; Jönköping Chamber Choir.
Record Label: Swedish Society
Style: Modern Jazz