All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

8

SE-Quartet: Going North

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
This album is dedicated to the refugees who have arrived in Scandinavia in recent years. On the day it was released, April 7 2017, one of those refugees, Rakhmat Akilov, aged 39, drove a hijacked truck into the entrance of the Åhlens department store in the centre of Stockholm, the Swedish capital, killing four people.

Akilov, an unstable character with Islamic State sympathies, was upset because his application for a residence permit had been refused and he was due to be deported to his native Uzbekistan.

Scandinavians traditionally deal with such incidents calmly. Rasmus H. Thomsen, pianist/leader of the Swedish SE-Quartet, a committed Christian, goes so far as to turn the other cheek. His songs on this album include "The Power Of Forgiveness" and "Even Death Will Die."

He also wrote "Song For Paris," as "a gift" to the French capital following the Islamic terrorist attack there on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, in which 12 people died.

One way or another, this is a deeply felt album, the quartet's third release in five years. It is influenced by popular and classical music, avant-garde jazz, gospel and soul and introduces a new instrument to jazz—the didgeridoo. And on "Even Death Will Die" it features—very successfully—the Stella Chamber Choir.

This last number was inspired by "Some Die Young," a song by the Swedish singer Laleh, which has been adopted as an unofficial anthem by those who lost loved ones in attacks in Norway in 2011 by the far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik that claimed 77 lives.

It's one of the stand-out tracks, a haunting melancholic dirge, featuring the aforesaid didgeridoo, Thomsen's minimalist piano and some ethereal soprano by David Ehrlin.

Not all the songs have a refugee or terrorist theme. Drummer Antti Ojala's "Autumn Mist," evokes a fall morning in Sweden and features Ehrlin on bass clarinet. Ojala describes its inspiration: "The fog lay over the landscape and the sun's rays were trying to break through to strengthen the autumn colours. It was breathtaking."

Ehrlin's "The Bird's Return" has nothing to do with Charlie Parker. The bird in question is the dove released from the Ark by Noah which returns with a leaf, indicating that land is near.

And Thomsen's "The Happy End" is just that; a jazzy romp, providing a welcome escape from troubles currently plaguing an otherwise peaceful part of the world.

Track Listing: Going North; Vilhelmina – Storuman; Excursion; Song For Paris; The Bird’s Return; The Power Of Forgiveness; Oh Holy Day; Autumn Mist; Even Death Will Die; The Happy End.

Personnel: David Ehrlin: saxophones and bass clarinet; Rasmus H. Thomsen: piano and didgeridoo; Martin Sundström: bass; Antti Ojala: drums. Stella Chamber Choir: Lisa Sahlin, Jonna Schwertner, Cecilia Hessel, Lisa Lundquist, Katarina Josephsson, Anna Larinius, Hanna Bengtsdotter, Veronica Westerback, Ulrik Algulin, Elias Bremer, Rickard Larsson, Joel Hessel and Arvid Löfvenhamn.

Title: Going North | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Prophone Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Light Of Love CD/LP/Track Review
Light Of Love
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Heaven Steps To Seven CD/LP/Track Review
Heaven Steps To Seven
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 23, 2018
Read In The Blue Light CD/LP/Track Review
In The Blue Light
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e" CD/LP/Track Review 64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "Making Other Arrangements" CD/LP/Track Review Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "On Stage" CD/LP/Track Review On Stage
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 29, 2018
Read "Sticks and Stones" CD/LP/Track Review Sticks and Stones
by John Kelman
Published: February 3, 2018
Read "Both Sides Of The Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Both Sides Of The Sky
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Obsidian" CD/LP/Track Review Obsidian
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2018