One look into the eyes of composer/reed man Jakob Norgren tells you that he is an extremely purposeful, self- directed and intense person. His music for his Jazz Orchestra reflects these attributes, making Pathfinding quite an aural ride.
Stylistically, this music fits somewhere between Ayn Inserto's story-telling Home Away From Home and John Fedchock's more traditional Like It Is. This is a very tight big band that can swing like crazy ("Serendipity") or blow the roof out (the 4/4 parts of "Pathfinding") with superior soloists taking advantage of sparkling arrangements. However, thrown into the mix is some atmospheric sound painting (the two "Secret Walks" for large sections) that moves Norgren's overall oeuvre out of strict "big-band."
Norgren likes odd meters (and phrase lengths) "Pathfinding" is in 11/4, "Parade" is in 7/4 and the bass line in "Some Kind Of Dancing" has that delicious odd-length hitch. However, these are not used for mere effect, and sound quite natural.
All of the soloists, especially tenor saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar (who is listed as "featured") are on fire, making the most of the opportunity to get out front.
Of particular interest are the two "Secret Walks." The first begins with a deep blues groove with a monster solo by Kullhammar that is overtaken by sustained notes of the band to lead into the quite different middle section that lopes to and fro until it thins out only to build and intensify; in other words, a sonic story. The second kind of picks up where the first left off, only drop into a spellbinding groove supporting a number of wonderful solos.
Simply put, Norgren's music as played by the band is flat out exciting, continually surprising while maintaining that one-foot-in-the-tradition which makes it easy for anyone to appreciate and groove on.
Pathfinding; Some Kind Of Dancing; Serendipity; Parade; Secret Walks, Part 1; Secret Walks, Part 2.
Jakob Norgren, Jonas Kullhammar, Peter Friedman, Lina Lövstrand, Kai Sundquist, Christian Herluf Pedersen: reeds; Fredrik Oscarsson, Jonne Bentlöv, David Ljunggren, Oscar Lindblom: trumpets; Mats Äleklint, Michael Rörby, Johan Åström, Klas Eriksson: trombones; Mathias Lundquist: piano; Lars Ekman: bass; Isak Andersson: drums.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.