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Album Review

Gush: Afro Blue

Read "Afro Blue" reviewed by John Sharpe

Time brings perspective. The three members of the Swedish band Gush--pianist Sten Sandell, drummer Raymond Strid and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson--were amazed at the quality of the music on this archive tape when they heard it again a quarter century after it was recorded, having forgotten about it completely in the interim. And they are right to be taken aback. The recording, from a concert in Stockholm in December 1998, is simply magnificent. This is unsurprising in retrospect, as all three ...

Extended Analysis

Sten Standell: Music Inside The Language

Read "Sten Standell: Music Inside The Language" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

Swedish pianist Sten Sandell is one of the key figures in the Scandinavian free jazz and improvisation scene: a visionary and experienced musician who has developed a profound musical language. He is a member of the Gush trio, with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and drummer Raymond Strid, celebrating this year its 20th year of activity, and leads his own trio, with bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, and collaborates with other innovative European improvisers as saxophonists Evan Parker and John ...

Album Review

Sten Sandell - Mattias Ståhl: Grann Musik (Neighbour Music)

Read "Grann Musik (Neighbour Music)" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

Il rapporto tra pianoforte e vibrafono è sempre vissuto su traiettorie di empatia istintiva: entrambi strumenti di natura percussivo/melodica [sebbene la versatilità del primo non sia comparabile con quella dell'altro], si sono spesso rincorsi nella storia del jazz, andando a braccetto con eleganza [pensiamo a Teddy Wilson e Lionel Hampton, ma ovviamente anche alla coppia John Lewis -Milt Jackson all'interno del Modern Jazz Quartet] oppure avventurandosi su terreni più esplorativi, come nel caso di Andrew Hill e Bobby Hutcherson, ma ...

Album Review

Sten Sandell & Mattias Stahl: Grann Musik (neighbor music)

Read "Grann Musik (neighbor music)" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Master Swedish improvisers, pianist Sten Sandell and vibraphonist Mattias Stahl, radiate gobs of colorific contrasts via these freeform-based duets. At times fluid, introspective and somewhat jagged in scope, the artists pursue the art of intuitive music-speak during the prevalence of this 2008 outing.

On “ Sjöfortet," Sandell executes cascading block chords with the semblance of a classical pianist gone awry, while Stahl's contrapuntal statements inject a myriad of prismatic effects. The duo works within a similar musical plane throughout these ...

Album Review

Sten Sandell Trio: Oval

Read "Oval" reviewed by Nic Jones

Pianist Sten Sandell and his trio have excelled themselves on record in 2007, and listeners accordingly owe a debt of gratitude to both Intakt and Cleanfeed labels, whose “Strokes documented the trio in the company of saxophonist John Butcher for a program of music that exemplifies in-the-moment creativity of an uncommon order.

In comparison, Oval thus has a lot to live up to, but the trio's flagrant disregard for precedents and regard for the values of individual and collective identity ...

Album Review

Sten Sandell: Gubbröra

Read "Gubbröra" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

Un incontro ravvicinato tra improvvisatori svedesi e inglesi, catturato dal vivo alla Conway Hall di Londra.La prima sequenza è un lungo drone di chitarra (Stackenas), interrogativo, esplorativo.Poi l'apertura al confronto con il pianoforte (Sandell). Una formula poco frequentata nella free-music, che dà frutti curiosi, quanto meno sotto il punto di vista timbrico.Il fluire del dialogo privilegia la lentezza, l'accostamento riflessivo di note punteggiate o raggruppate in frasi atonali. Un cerimoniale sonoro che alterna lampi ...

Album Review

Sten Sandell - Fred Lonberg-Holm - Michael Zerang: Disappeared

Read "Disappeared" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Although they share similar improvising/new music and/or modern jazz credentials, Disappeared signifies the inaugural release by Swedish pianist Sten Sandell, and his Chicago, IL-based associates; percussionist Michael Zerang and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm.

The title of this outing lends a bit of credence to the actual musical presentation as the Trio executes a series of mini-themes amid unexpected surprises and elusive methodologies. Throughout these nine pieces titled, “Disappeared-Day One” through Disappeared-Day Nine”, the musicians perpetuate oscillating flows of varying levels of ...


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