180

Maggi Olin Band: Le Sp

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Maggi Olin Band: Le Sp Le Spécialité, Swedish pianist Maggi Olin's fourth album for Prophone, is certainly well-played, but it hasn't got much staying power. In other words, it's not something I'd choose to listen to more than is necessary. At least a part of the reason for my lack of enthusiasm rests with Olin's compositions (she wrote and arranged everything), which seem (to me) to meander indifferently across the musical landscape without ever going anywhere in particular, a blueprint from which the soloists apparently take their cue. This is, of course, one commentator's imperfect opinion, and should by no means be considered written in stone.

While Olin and her colleagues no doubt believe in what they are doing and strive to make it work, the charisma, for the most part, simply isn't there, and the post bop session strikes me as more earnest than inspiring. Even so, within its narrow parameters are a number of agreeable moments, especially when Olin or tenor saxophonist Karl-Martin Almqvist has the reins (although Almqvist can't resist the urge to screech and squawk on "Mingsound"). The other front-liner, trumpeter Magnus Broo, seems to be foraging for a comfortable groove (and coming closest on "Sweet Dream"), while the rhythm section (Olin, bassist Mattias Welin, drummer P-A Tollbom) is competent but unable to transcend or enhance the largely prosaic material. The group is at its collective best on the easygoing "Quadr'l, on which Olin has the solo platform to herself, as she does on the ballad "Flowers, which follows.

As noted, everyone in Olin's band plays as well as can be expected, and words are perchance not the ideal channel through which to explain why Le Spécialité left me unmoved. As other ears may be more receptive than mine, perhaps they should cast the deciding vote. Olin is a first-rate musician, as are her sidemen, and hearing them perform together should prove conclusive. The music isn't my cup of tea, but it may well be yours.

Visit the Maggi Olin Band on the web.


Track Listing: In the Farrafine; Hej Biej; Breathe; Mingsound; Micki

Personnel: Maggi Olin: piano; Karl-Martin Almqvist: tenor, soprano sax; Magnus Broo: trumpet; Mattias Welin: bass; P-A Tollbom: drums.

Title: Le Sp | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Prophone Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "An Untroublesome Defencelessness" CD/LP/Track Review An Untroublesome Defencelessness
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A." CD/LP/Track Review The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.
by Paul Naser
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Miguel Angelo Quarteto: A Vida de X" CD/LP/Track Review Miguel Angelo Quarteto: A Vida de X
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "The Volume Surrounding The Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding The Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano" CD/LP/Track Review EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano
by Doug Collette
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Currents 0" CD/LP/Track Review Currents 0
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 18, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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