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Stefan Wistrand

Stefan Wistrand got hooked on jazz in the early 70s and at the same time took up playing the saxophone. At first involved in the then-current jazz rock scene, he soon encountered free jazz through the duo he formed in the mid 70s with drummer Peter Olsen. In 1978 they released the album "Duo" on composer Leo Nilsson’s label Studio Viarp. Throughout the 80s Wistrand was active on the alternative rock scene, touring Sweden and Scandinavia and recording three albums with rock group Memento Mori.

In the 90s he returned to jazz and improvisational music and was initially mainly active as leader of free jazz group Nods Off, with Olsen, bassist Stefan Larsson and guitarist Daniel Berton. Nods Off has released five CDs on Einnicken Records. Other jazz musicians who have been members of Nods Off are drummer Erik Dahlbäck, bassist Tommy Skotte, trumpeters Tommy Adolfsson and Emil Strandberg.

In 1999, together with musician Per Åhlund, Wistrand formed the musician collective and scene Memento in Eskilstuna. A coalition of creative musicians in the genres of electronica, jazz, rock and improvisation.

Wistrand started several projects with young musicians around the turn of the century 99-00, as for example jazz group Blue Room Repository Ensemble, "big band" Memento Creative Orchestra, free improvising units Fundamental Form and Two Sounds Ensemble.The latter, a duo with pianist Joakim Simonsson, has released two albums "Inversions" (2004) and "Fictions" (2009).

In 2002-2003 Wistrand played as a soloist on soundtracks by film composer Thomas Rydell, among them the music for the Swedish motion picture “Hot Dog” by director Alexandra-Therese Keining. In 2007 Wistrand received an honorary award from the Memorial Foundation of ground-breaking Swedish saxophonist Börje Fredriksson “for considerable achievements in jazz with connection to (the city of) Eskilstuna”. 2008 saw the forming of the Wistrand/Rytzler Quartet, which plays in a style with considerable roots in 60s modal jazz. Wistrand and pianist Johannes Rytzler also perform as a duo.

The long-awaited debut album by Fundamental Form was released in 2010. The same year Wistrand also was assigned the County Council of Sörmland’s cultural scholarship for long time service as “an engine and driving force in the musical life, and in its forefront.”

The three-day Nordic Sound Station 2012 in Eskilstuna had Wistrand as its curator and featured electronic experimentation, free improvisation, contemporary art music, new jazz and rock music. Also, curator for the music at the Nordic Art Station in Eskilstuna in 2013.

In 2013 Wistrand formed The Electric MZ as a tool to find a new way to approach the jazz rock he had experienced in the 70s. The present incarnation includes David Lindh, guitar, Johannes Rytzler, keyboards, Mattias Green, bass & flugelhorn, Johan Carlsson, drums & percussion and Gunnar Fridh, congas & percussion. The Electric MZ's debut album “Silent in the Murmur” was released in 2015 and was followed by a second album entitled ”Eternity & A Day” in 2018.

The fall of 2017 saw Wistrand receiving Eskilstuna municipality’s music prize. The motivation by the jury read: ”This year's music prize winner, has as saxophonist, with thorough knowledge of improvisational music and its development in Sweden, been an inspiration and music creator together with many young musicians. On the record company Einnicken Records, established in 1993, there are several releases that have received great appreciation in free form and jazz circuits, not only in Sweden but around the world.”

In his research on Swedish jazz history, Wistrand has written two books: ”Jazzen och dansorkestrarna i Eskilstuna – 1924-1969” (Jazz and its dance orchestras in Eskilstuna – 1924-1969) in 2017 and ”Börje Fredriksson, saxofonist” in 2019. The latter a biography about the early dead saxophonist Börje Fredriksson (1937-1968). One of the truly rare voices in Swedish jazz, both as saxophonist and composer. Following the biography, a digital double album with the same title consisting of rare unreleased recordings by Fredriksson and compiled by Wistrand was released on Caprice Records.

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The Electric MZ "Tales of Trees" (Einnicken, 2022)
"...the collective sound is prominent and the most important to the group. It is evocative and ongoing music, beautiful, inviting and atmospheric, which puts one in a pleasant state. But also, music that can work in a club environment and encourage dancing. A musical journey that you need now when darkness falls outside the window and when the world outside can feel so bleak."
Jazz/Orkesterjournalen (Sweden)

”The rocking rhythm lulls the listener into a meditative mood that seems to stop time and generates a kind of eternal music, which may recall Nik Bärtsch's Ronin. Some may find that there is too little happening, others will let themselves be enveloped by the music and embark on a mental journey with an unknown destination.”
Kulturdelen (Sweden)

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Tales of Trees

Einnicken Records
2022

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Intro: Version

Einnicken Records
2021

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Eternity & A Day

Einnicken Records
2018

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Going (Gone)

Einnicken Records
2017

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Silent in the Murmur

Einnicken Records
2015

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Fundamental Form

Einnicken Records
2010

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