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Album Review

Jan Lundgren: Into the Night


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Jan Lundgren: Into the Night
This excellent album is part of a series of modern jazz projects with a twist, featuring live recordings by many of the German label ACT's top artists, in unique, uncategorized, and often first time formations.

The album comes from a 2020 set at the Ystad Festival in Sweden, which homegrown pianist Jan Lundgren founded and has directed since 2010. This trio actually arose out of necessity after a musician in Lundgren's originally scheduled group, which included Lars Danielsson, was benched by Covid 19 restrictions, and the oft-cliched mother of invention led to marvelous results. French saxophonist Emile Parisien stepped up and the improvised team gelled immediately.

The album opens with Lundgren's inspiring arrangement of the traditional folk tune "Gladjens Blomster," then flows seamlessly into "Asta," a composition by Danielsson. The melodic melding of both the songs and the players comprises a quarter hour of deep symmetry. Even more, it establishes an evolving foundation of shared aesthetics in which Parisien's contributions exude melodic charm.

Danielsson's bass is deeply pronounced on "Preamble," a klezmer styled blues that nods toward tin pan alley and could easily serve as an introductory theatrical theme. West Berlin Side Story, anyone? Lundgren's "I Do" is the album's standout song, a romantic triumph that opens with solo keys smoother than sparkling champagne. Anybody seeking a heartwarming instrumental for their first wedding dance need look no further. Everyone gets a chance to stretch out for a few flourishes on "A Dog Named Jazze," a dreamy romp that seems like a rousing finale whether it preceded the following final two cuts or not.

The record clocks in at around forty-five minutes, about the time of a festival set. It's unclear from the liner notes whether or not this was the band's entire Ystad performance, or if production hindsight may have led to a change in sequencing. Whatever the case, the album is impressive.

Track Listing

Glädjens Blomster; Asta; Preamble; I Do; Schubertauster; A Dog Named Jazze; Into The Night; Ystad.


Jan Lundgren: piano; Lars Danielsson: bass; Emile Parisien: saxophone, soprano.

Album information

Title: Into the Night | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: ACT Music

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