22

Jakob Norgren Jazz Orchestra: Pathfinding

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Swedish composer and jazz artist Jakob Norgren is a complex individual with a fascinating background of which band leader is only one component of his varied resume. Leading the Swedish-based contemporary Jakob Norgren Jazz Orchestra, the group deliver their debut album on the audacious Pathfinding, where the music is big band, modern with all new original material that swings all over. A research assistant in cognitive neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet in Solna, Sweden, Norgren also finds the time to teach psychology, music and lead his own ensemble. This first project reveals several unique aspects which among them are, a production from the Swedish Arts Council, a collaborative effort featuring tenor saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar and a major role for the underappreciated baritone saxophone performed by the leader.

Though Norgren also plays the clarinet here, his major contribution remains as a composer and arranger leaving the bulk of the soloing leads to Kullhammar with spot solos from other members of the band. The opening title track sets the band on a swinging path with a modern twist featuring a short baritone burst from Norgren, expanded tenor solos by Kullhammar and a lively trombone joust from Mats Aleklnit.

The down tempo flugelhorn of Jonne Bentlov and the unusual jazz bassoon performed by saxophonist Kai Sundquist, lead the music on the following "Some Kind of Dancing" which departs from the swinging nature of the opener and provides a more melancholy sound. Norgren takes to the contra alto clarinet establishing the main theme of the sprite and splashy "Serendipity," which also features a steamy alto saxophone solo by Peter Fredman followed by more of Kullhammar on one of his brightest solos of the recording.

There's a slight New Orleans groove penned into the original "Parade" featuring a musical dialogue between trombonist Aleklint and the featured tenor soloist in a delicious lobbying back and forth keeping one engaged. The album concludes with a two-part suite entitled "Secret Walks, Part 1" and "Secret Walks, Part 2," which features more of a modern, non-traditional jazz orchestrations fitting within the main theme of the album.

As musical debuts go, Jakob Norgren and his Orchestra have chosen the modern route to fine big band music with Pathfinding, marking a "True North" direction to superb, sophisticated ensemble music that leave the old traditions behind and charts a new path for big band jazz.

Track Listing: Pathfinding; Some Kind Of Dancing; Serendipity; Parade; Secret Walks, Part 1; Secret Walks, Part 2.

Personnel: 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.

Title: Pathfinding | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Wime Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Xabregas 10" CD/LP/Track Review Xabregas 10
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Get Up And Go" CD/LP/Track Review Get Up And Go
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "Jersey" CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Aerial" CD/LP/Track Review Aerial
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Buoyancy" CD/LP/Track Review Buoyancy
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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