Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
148

Sten Sandell: Behind The Chords

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
“Behind the Chords” is at times dark and mysterious. Swedish keyboard whiz Sten Sandell offers some enticing, yet at times bizarre excursions into his private world. This project is broken into 4 segments or Acts. Sandell’s composition titled “Under The Stone” and “After The Deserts” (Act 1) features subtle pulsating electronic keyboard work and some unusual vocals. Sandell’s vocalizations on this track rekindle thoughts of Captain Beefheart’s deep garbled baritone voice although Sandell is liable to render high pitch wails on occasion. The driving single note drone provides the lone sense of rhythm. Here, Sandell sounds as though he’s conducting a seance or communicating with the spiritual world. Original yet at times baffling! On “Behind The Chords I” (Act II) Sandell’s giant block chords and improvisation on the Piano disclose his true talents. His apparent classical training combined with free-improvisational statements pose a new challenge. Perhaps this is Free-Classical music? In any event Sandell’s meticulous phrasing and left hand-right hand coordination is beguiling. Sandell’s solo Piano work is altogether striking and somewhat transcendental in character. Thoughts of Dave Brubeck performing solo free-jazz Piano entered this writer’s imagination. Despite occasional pyrotechnics, Sandell utilizes space and gives the listener a feeling of vast openness. On “Between The Pipes” (Act III) Sandell’s use of electronics parallel certain aspects of European Electronic Industrial music. “Under The Stone III” (Act IV) commences with one tremendously loud chord on his Acoustic Piano which appears to be electronically treated. The piece continues in that manner and the overall feeling is that of a dark, lonely place. Very harrowing and gloomy. Quite interesting, yet not for the faint of heart.

Not being familiar with Sandell’s past puts this writer at somewhat of a disadvantage; however, according to the press kit he has performed as a solo artist and with notables of Europe’s avant-garde scene. “Behind The Chords” is a musical event. Sandell is in the driver’s seat while the listener goes along for the ride. The road may be bumpy at times, but the experience is one that you will more than likely never forget.

website http://www.lj-records.com

| Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sten Standell: Music Inside The Language
Sten Standell: Music...
LJ Records
2013
buy
[no cover]
Grann Musik...
Sonus Rex
2008
buy
Grann Musik (neighbor music)
Grann Musik (neighbor...
Clean Feed Records
2008
buy
Oval
Oval
Intakt Records
2007
buy
[no cover]
Gubbröra
Sonus Rex
2004
buy
[no cover]
Solid Musik
Sonus Rex
2002
buy

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.