All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

34

Bobo Stenson: Contra la indecision

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
With a few exceptions, Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson has spent his long recording career with the prestigious ECM label, dating back to his oddly named Underwear in 1971. That particular album turned out to be more a showcase for bassist Arild Andersen and drummer Jon Christensen than for Stenson, and the pianist did not lead again on the label for twenty years. Stenson was hardly absent from Manfred Eicher's iconic label in those intervening years, appearing as a sideman for Don Cherry, Jan Garbarek, Tomasz Stanko and Charles Lloyd. On Contra La Indecision, Stenson reconvenes the trio that last issued the 2012 release Indicum.

Stenson and double bassist Anders Jormin have a three-decade history beginning with a mutual association with saxophonist Lenart Åberg. It was the pair's contribution to Lloyd's Notes from Big Sur (ECM, 1992) that brought both to prominence. Percussionist Jon Fält is the youngster in the trio—still in his thirties, he has mostly played with well-known artists inside of Sweden; his initial recording being Indicum.

Jormin is credited with five of the seven original compositions on Contra La Indecision. The album opens with Cuban guitarist Silvio Rodríguez's "Canción Contra La Indecisión" (Song Against Indecision), a light and catchy piece, ironically, from a composer known for his literary seriousness. Erik Satie's familiar "Élégie" begins quietly before Stenson moves it to a bright and punchy treatment with the rhythm section adding subtle, intricate textures. Béla Bartók's "Wedding Song From Poniky" is a beautiful rendition of the jovial original and features a pair of brief, but excellent, solos from Jormin. The bassist's own composition "Three Shades of a House" provides him with more opportunity in the form of an extended intro solo. The piece briefly veers toward abstraction when Jormin picks up the bow, but it doesn't stray far from the overall charm of the melody. "Stilla" has a rambling bluesy quality with an intriguing dialog between Stenson, Jormin and Fält.

Stenson's strong suits have always been his playing—his mastery of the measured build up—and his talent for arraigning other's compositions to put a unique stamp on each. His blending of classical, jazz and folk influences and uncommon time signatures has led to comparisons (not necessarily precise ones) with Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau. Stenson's own style is easily recognizable and is especially well-served in the company of Jormin and Fält. Not all of Stenson's work has the bursts of color that we hear in Contra La Indecision and that makes it one of his most interesting albums to date.

Track Listing: Cancion contra la indecision; Doubt Thou The Stars; Wedding Song From Polinky; Three Shades Of a House; Elegie; Cancion y Danza VI; Alice; Oktoberhavet; Kalimba Impressions; Stilla; Hemingway Intonations.

Personnel: Bobo Stenson: piano; Anders Jormin: double bass; Jon Falt: drums.

Title: Contra la indecision | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Discography
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Indicum

Indicum

ECM Records
2012

buy
Cantando

Cantando

ECM Records
2008

buy
Goodbye

Goodbye

ECM Records
2006

buy
Goodbye

Goodbye

ECM Records
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read World Domination Vol 1: Furie CD/LP/Track Review
World Domination Vol 1: Furie
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review
20
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 20, 2018
Read Frank Salis CD/LP/Track Review
Frank Salis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2018
Read Live! CD/LP/Track Review
Live!
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 19, 2018
Read My Favorite Things(1960-1969) CD/LP/Track Review
My Favorite Things(1960-1969)
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 19, 2018
Read The Acadian Orogeny CD/LP/Track Review
The Acadian Orogeny
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 19, 2018
Read "The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow" CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "Incidentals" CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Dr. Quixotic's Traveling Exotics" CD/LP/Track Review Dr. Quixotic's Traveling Exotics
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 5, 2018
Read "Vortex" CD/LP/Track Review Vortex
by John Kelman
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Playmates" CD/LP/Track Review Playmates
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 14, 2018
Read "Promise!" CD/LP/Track Review Promise!
by Don Phipps
Published: April 6, 2018