All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

174

Erik Soderlind: Happening

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
The sounds on Happening hark back nearly two decades before its creator, Swedish guitarist Erik Söderlind was born—in 1981. They stem from the mid-1960s, when Jimmy Smith revolutionized the way the Hammond B3 electric organ was played and created a new genre of hard bop featuring the Hammond with guitar as second instrument.

The jazz guitarists who played with Smith included Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, George Benson and Grant Green, all of whom have influenced Söderlind. The trouble back then was that even such giants tended to get swamped by the torrent of sound emanating from the organist Miles Davis famously called "the eighth wonder of the world."

Here the boot is on the other foot: Söderlind's guitar is the principal instrument, underpinned by Kjell Öhman on the Hammond B3. But being Swedish, this is very much a joint effort, with none of the commercial pressures of that time when "the incredible Mr. Smith" was being promoted as a major new star by Blue Note.

With their debut album, Twist For Jimmy Smith (Prophone, 2009), Söderlind andÖhman were at pains—as the title indicates—to acknowledge their roots. That one featured mainly standards; here, Söderlind is more confident, playing seven of his own compositions.

When he won his homeland's prestigious Alice Babs prize in 2010, the judges hailed him as "a superb soloist and improviser" and praised his knowledge of jazz history. This he puts to good use here by resurrecting "My One And Only Love," written in 1952 by saxophonist Guy Wood, from Manchester, England. Along with Söderlind's own lilting ballad, "Grandmother's Dream," it's a standout track.

He and Öhman start to do some interesting work on harmonicist Toots Thielemans' "Song For My Lady," but are cut short, with the track running to only 1:56. They also dust off Horace Silver's "Sister Sadie," which features some assured solo work by both Öhman and guest tenor saxophonist Fredrik Lindborg, of The Stockholm Swing All Stars. Lindborg also contributes to "Syster Ysta," a hard bop workout penned by Söderlind.

The closer, "Alicia," another original, is a meditative solo with Söderlind trading his Ibanez AG for a classical guitar. It makes a pleasant break from the more frenetic Jimmy Smith tradition.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
After Carnival

After Carnival

CDM Records
2012

buy
Live at Vision Festival

Live at Vision...

Re: Konstrukt
2012

buy
So Oder So

So Oder So

Self Produced
2012

buy
To My Surprise

To My Surprise

Consolidated Artists Productions
2012

buy
Leap In The Dark

Leap In The Dark

Intuition
2012

buy
Into The Open

Into The Open

Your Favourite Jazz
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Memories of Maynard CD/LP/Track Review
Memories of Maynard
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Cosmic Playground CD/LP/Track Review
Cosmic Playground
by Don Phipps
Published: February 20, 2018
Read For Gyumri CD/LP/Track Review
For Gyumri
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Sextet (Parker) 1993 CD/LP/Track Review
Sextet (Parker) 1993
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 19, 2018
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Color Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Color Tones
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Lacy Pool_2" CD/LP/Track Review Lacy Pool_2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Post Bop Gypsies" CD/LP/Track Review Post Bop Gypsies
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Use Your Imagination" CD/LP/Track Review Use Your Imagination
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 21, 2017
Read "Beauty & Truth" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty & Truth
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 13, 2017