Lina Nyberg & Daisy: Alternative Sweden


Sign in to view read count
Swedish saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar's Moserobie label is offering listeners a different fix on the Swedish jazz landscape than the one they've more often been given over the past few years. Drummer Kjell Nordeson, reedmen Mats Gustafsson and Martin Küchen, among other noteworthy players, have tended to paint a picture of Sweden as a full-on "free region.

Kullhammar, an inside-outside player himself, is using Moserobie to give exposure to Swedish improvisers with different perspectives, whose work is difficult to pigeonhole—like vocalist Lina Nyberg and the cooperative trio Daisy.

Lina Nyberg

On Tellus, Nyberg is joined by Matthias Landaeus (piano), Torbjörn Zetterberg (bass, who's also a member of Kulhammar's own group), and Jon Fält (drums), on ten originals and one Kurt Weill tune, "Surabaya Johnny. The quartet is periodically fleshed out with colorful bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, cello, glockenspiel and contributions from guests including trumpeter Magnus Broo and reedman Frederik Ljungkvist.

A vamp bolstered by melodica and rhythm opens the slinky "Itaparica, Nyberg's husky chanteuse stylings fleshed out by brief melodica and piccolo statements. The music has more collective character than one might expect. Despite Nyberg's weighty presence as vocalist, the strong rhythm section and well integrated woodwind arrangements frequently break from providing color and background support to arresting flashes of independence.

There's something of Carla Bley in the avant-cabaret-jazz approach that Nyberg takes with this group. On "Landala, a brief lyric introduction gives way to Per "Texas Johansson's tenor saxophone solo and Broo's overdubbed multiple trumpet lines. The passage would surely stand on its own, as would the free jazz finale to "Beijing." Prepared piano and roiling low tones introduce "San Saba, until a drunken swagger abruptly asserts itself, before reverting to the background, as Nyberg's wordless chortles take the tune back into stranger regions of her world.

Tellus is, however, rather all-over-the-map. Fragments of singer-songwriter folkiness ("Pincio ) and minimal art rock ("Salwa and "Berlin ) creep in alongside atonal lieder. But Nyberg surely knows how to integrate what she hears, and the process goes beyond her own vocal lines.

Daisy's Places

If Tellus is a surefooted stylistic grab bag, then Daisy, the trio of Joakim Rolandson (saxophone), Peter Janson (bass) and Thommy Larsson (drums) is anything but. The saxophone/bass/drums power trio is a time-tested format imbued with rhythmic flexibility and melodic openness—but Daisy doesn't always use it to their advantage.

The opening "Sture & Stina is a bouncy soprano theme over loping rhythm, but while Rolandson's tone is warm and secure, it lacks the openness that the instrument can reveal in other contexts. Static rhythm, combined with a sound that doesn't really open up, makes for a difficult beginning. "Mercato, which follows, is a step in the right direction, with an impressively dense Janson bass solo starting things off. The performance makes good use of steamrolling polyrhythms and acrid, Berber-like soprano textures, but it still seems empty.

"Last Waltz is the kind of tune I wished for more of on this record. Rolandson's alto is keening and dusky, with fragmented bebop phrases echoing Rob Brown somewhere this side of Byron Allen. Coupled with a pliant rhythmic tumult, this makes for the kind of free bop ballad welcome in any set.

The album's crucial weakness is that it doesn't enhance its unashamedly simple tunes with the richness and complexity which attention to texture and scope would deliver. Daisy take a pared-down approach at every turn, removing interest and strength in the process. So tunes like "The Song Of The Pearl That Might Be and "Sture & Stina become mere shells. With time and effort, the shortcomings of Daisy's Places will, hopefully, be overcome, and the blank canvas become more akin to a Franz Kline.

Tracks and Personnel


Tracks: Itaparica; Vancouver; Landala; San Saba; Pinico; Yokohama; Salwa; Ponta Delgada; Beijing; Berlin; Surabaya Johnny.

Personnel: Lina Nyberg: vocals, guitar, music box; Matthias Landaeus: piano, melodica, electronics and vocals; Torbjörn Zetterberg: bass and vocals; Jon Fält: percussion and vocals.

Daisy's Places

Tracks: Sture & Stina; Mercato; Last Waltz; The Song Of The Pearl That Might Be; Waltz For Alex; Daisy Dance; In The Palm Of Her Hand.

Personnel: Joakim Rolandson: alto and soprano saxophones; Peter Janson: bass; Thommy Larsson: drums.


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017
Read The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants Multiple Reviews The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants
by Nigel Campbell
Published: September 9, 2017
Read Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And Rutherford Multiple Reviews Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And...
by John Eyles
Published: September 8, 2017
Read Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things Happen Slowly & Open Book Multiple Reviews Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa Dos Ventos" Multiple Reviews Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient Africa" and Oliver Lake and Joseph Bowie's "Live at A Space 1976"" Multiple Reviews Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO" Multiple Reviews Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio" Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon" Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Duke Ellington on Storyville Records" Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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