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Mattias Ståhl: What I'm Listening To Now

Mattias Ståhl: What I'm Listening To Now

Courtesy Kjell Oscarsson


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Mattias Ståhl is a Swedish jazz vibraphonist, multi-instrumentalist and composer. A key figure on the nordic jazz scene, he is active both as a leader and a sideman in countless projects including Eirik Hegdal's Team Hegdal, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, IPA and many more.

1. Thelonious Monk, Solo Monk, (Columbia, 1965).

I always return to this one, I listen to a lot of Bach but after a while I need something to shake loose, Monk has the recipe. I prefer him often solo or in a trio, this one is essential.

2. Getatchew Mekurya, Negus of Ethiopian Sax , (Philips, 1970).

Fantastic music, these waltzes with one chord repeating over and over and the amazing hypnotic vibe.

3. The Charles Lloyd Quartet, Dream Weaver, (Atlantic, 1966).

Lots of energy and vitality in this supergroup, a smashing start with their first album!. I love Lloyd's somewhat fumbling flute playing at "Autumn Sequence," the mysterious moody intro before a magic renewal of a worn out standard tune. When it comes to Keith Jarrett,I'm a huge fan of his early years. I love it when he plays an upright piano... no problem even when it might be a bit out of tune, with no ECM patented reverb etc. More friction and excitement, less perfection.

4. Sonny Rollins, A Night at the Village Vanguard, (Blue Note, 1958).

Unbeatable trio, swings so much I get happy each time. I shook his hand once!

5. Paul Bley, With Gary Peacock, (ECM, 1970).

"Long Ago and Far Away..." Paul Bley flies on top of it, some hints of traditional structure, then parallel worlds, flying but still grounded somehow! Harmonic layers on top of each other, like Charles Ives or something... you can fly along with it too. Recorded in 1963.

6. Jazz Composers Orchestra, Jazz Composers Orchestra , (JCOA, 1968).

A masterpiece with the creme de la creme of the avant-garde: Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Carla Bley, Cecil Taylor etc. Fantastic and powerful compositions by Michael Mantler pointing to different directions... chaos and order. Listen to "Preview"" with Sanders and get knocked!

7. Friends and Neighbors, The Earth Is #, (Clean Feed, 2021).

A burning quintet! The classic setting in itself is a challenge and these guys pull it off with great tunes, interplay and solos. Grammy—nominated in Norway.

8. Carla Bley, {m: Gary Burton = 5485}}, A Genuine Tong Funeral, (RCA, 1968).

Carla Bley's fantastic music with a fantastic band (with Steve Lacy and Gato Barbieri among others) brings out the best of Gary Burton's playing. It's a warm and absurd marching band that tells you a hell of a story.

9. Karl Berger, From Now On, (ESP Disk, 1967).

Energy! Raw and dirty sound with Carlos Ward, Ed Blackwell and Henry Grimes.

10. Jan Johansson, Georg Riedel, Rörelser (Megafon, 1963).

Ballet music in different settings from Stockholm, with two musical heroes of mine. Complex and easy, swinging and swagging.



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