For jazz fans of a certain agethose who began their appreciation of the music during the '60sAmerican trumpeter Art Farmer's To Sweden With Love (Atlantic, 1964) may have served as an introduction to Scandinavian cool. The Nordic subgenre has come into full bloom in the new millennium with music from Norway's Tord Gustavsen Trio, Sweden's electro-piano trio the Esbjorn Svensson ( E.S.T.), Norwegian saxophonist Trygve Seim and more.
Which brings us to REKON, the electro-improv trio, and REKON, the group's third recording.
The Amsterdam-based group started out as a duo, with Leif Jordansson on guitar and Daniel Borgegård Algå playing bass clarinet, soprano saxophone and flute, and an Ipad with editing functions serving as a third member. Drummer Pele Vallgren came into the picture later, and he sits in here.
The trio line-upwhich includes live electronics from reedman Algåopens with "Rescue Garden," six minutes of cool Scandinavian restraint and shimmering beauty. An ECM Records comparison is inescapable. "Recurring Dreams" takes things into more psychedelic terrain, with Jordansson's guitar displaying a strung tight, sharp-edged tangin the fashion of The Band's Robbie Robertson, circa 1969. The trio paints a surreal soundscape around Algå's flute that floats like an icy breeze off a steel blue fjord .
"Reefer Sadness" features Jordansson's guitar sounding like a guy playing on the back porch of a ramshackle Appalachian cabin, which contrasts nicely with the deep toned mellifluousness of Algå's dreamy bass clarinet, in a "Sweden meets the Virginia hill country" groove. "Reflected Motions" is spacier, shaping a "ghosts in the mist" mood.
The three-part "Required Space" plays out as fifteen minutes of avant-garde reverie, a soundtrack to a film about a haunted sluice box engaged in going "out there" and searching for sonic gold, and finding it. The water sounds may or may not originate from an Ipad.
Rescue Garden; Recurring Dreams; Reefer Sadness; Reflected Motions; Required Space Pt. 1; Required Space Pt. 2; Required Space Pt. 3.