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This second release from the new Swedish Lovestreet Records label gives us another portion of good Malmö-based acoustic jazz. But this band is not exactly localthe bandleader/composer is Chilean, pianist Loïc Dequidt is French, and drummer John Arnold is American. Only saxophonist Fredrik Kronkvist has his roots in southern Sweden. This quartet is deeply rooted in the mainstream tradition of that quartet with a capital Q headed by the capital JC himself, although this one features an alto player inspired by Cannonball Adderley and Kenny Garrett.
But what first attracts attention are the interesting, well-written compositions and the alert drumming. John Arnold bounces around and adds interesting markings wherever he has the opportunity, with a distinct attack, excellent presence, and dynamics which might inspire some of his more cool-tempered Swedish colleagues. René Sandoval has chosen a drummer that fits well with his own style of bass playing, which provides both a steady backbone and nice melodic qualities.
Pianist Loïc Dequidt surprises with a tonal world beyond the ordinary, often keeping busy with interesting cascades of notes somewhere under the surface. For example, after the piano solo on "Try Me," when the sax returns to the theme, Dequidt is still flying around like a joyful bird. The young altoist Fredrik Kronkvist does not vary his tone and phrasing much, but he's quite inventive melodically, constantly going out on new adventures. His notes pour out of the saxophone without any trace of hesitation.
With all the compositions but one from his own pen, René Sandoval shows a high level of musical maturity; he does not need to prove his virtuosity. He takes a few solos, otherwise focusing on the drive and the interplay with his band, adding plenty of extra swing. He sticks to what a bassist should always dohe carries the music on his shoulders. And fingers.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.