How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Let’s begin on a positive note by stating the rather obvious — tenor saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar and his associates are topnotch musicians who let it all hang out on this live date at the Glenn Miller Café (somewhere in Sweden, I’d guess, perhaps Stockholm). They also have a sense of humor, as the tray card informs us that the concert was recorded “directly on two–track, no funny shit involved.” And a sense of gratitude, as the liner notes consist entirely of their thanks to an extensive laundry list of friends, relatives, fellow musicians and others “without whom,” we’re sure, none of this music would have been possible. On the faster numbers, Kollhammar skitters around the changes like a crazed waterbug, pausing on occasion to screech, squeal, honk, growl and make other unpleasant sounds that remind one of such other modernists as Archie Shepp, David Ware, Albert Ayler, Roscoe Mitchell or . . .well, you get the idea. The rhythm section keeps pace, with pianist Gulz especially resourceful at rapid tempos but admirable throughout. All of the compositions are Kollhammar’s, and they serve as productive launching pads for the soloists but are otherwise unremarkable (with the waltz–like “Super G” and swinging “I Sheriffens Klor,” which end the session, the best among them). The more one listens the more he (or she) understands that Jazz truly is an international lingua franca, and even though Salut isn’t exactly this reviewer’s cup of tea, the Kullhammar Quartet is quite proficient at what it does, which is performing decidedly contemporary, ultra–hip post–bop Jazz on a high order. Recommended to those who appreciate the genre.
Track Listing: En S
Personnel: Jonas Kullhammar, tenor saxophone; Torbj