Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
349

Jonas Kullhammar Quartet/Norrbotten Big Band: Snake City North

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Jonas Kullhammar Quartet/Norrbotten Big Band: Snake City North It's been a while since we've heard from Sweden's intrepid Norrbotten Big Band from up near the Arctic Circle. On that last occasion (Future North, Double-Time, 1998), the NBB was led by American trumpeter Tim Hagans; this time, it is in the company of Swedish tenor saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar's impressive quartet.

The quartet-within-a-band format is a provocative idea that works quite well, as it did a decade earlier for a similar group, The Real Thing, with Sweden's Bohuslän Big Band (A Perfect Match, Real Records, 1994). I can't say whether Kullhammar/Norrbotten borrowed the concept or came up with it independently, but whatever its source, the bottom line is that the quartet and big band are truly en rapport and make the most of every moment together. Kullhammar and his partners are loose and adaptable in the larger setting, while the NBB responds with sharp and passionate blowing at every turn.

Six of the eight luminous charts were written by pianist Torbjörn Gulz. He and Kullhammar collaborated on the playful "Ruskitoonies McAroonies, while the quartet and ensemble put their heads together to construct the rockin' finale, "Bebopalulia (which Elvis wouldn't have recognized). Even though the melodies are unfamiliar, they are strong enough to capture and sustain one's interest, and Kullhammar and the NBB make certain the enticement never wanes.

Although Kullhammar is the featured soloist, Gulz frames a number of incisive comments, as do bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg and drummer Jonas Holgersson, while from the NBB, flugel Dan Johansson shines on "Kärleksvals and "Ruskitoonies, trombonist Peter Dahlgren on "Frippes Blues, alto Håkan Broström on "I Sheriffens Klor. The ensemble is vacuum-sealed, and Kullhammar & Co. comprise an unwavering rhythm section.

If you'd like to know why the album is titled Snake City North and the opening selection "Snake City East, there's no answer in the liner notes (in fact, there are no notes, only a few brief acknowledgments). But the music itself is no mystery, nor is my enthusiastic endorsement.


Track Listing: Snake City East; Krleksvals; Frippes Blues; Slow Drop; Ruskitoonies McAroonies; For X; I Sheriffens Klor; Bebopalulia (60:44).

Personnel: Jonas Kullhammar, tenor sax; Torbjrn Gulz, piano; Torbjrn Zetterberg, bass; Jonas Holgersson, drums. Norrbotten Big Band -- Bo Strandberg, Magnus Eckholm, Tapio Maunuvaara, trumpet; Dan Johansson, trumpet, flugelhorn; Hkan Brostrm, alto, soprano sax; Jan Thelin, alto sax, bass clarinet; Mats Garberg, tenor sax; Bengt Ek, tenor sax, clarinet; Per Moberg, baritone sax, flute; P-O Svanstrm, Magnus Puls, Peter Dahlgren, trombone; Bjrn Hngsel, bass trombone.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Moserobie | Style: Big Band


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
Read more articles
We Are The World
We Are The World
Moserobie
2016
buy
Gentlemen
Gentlemen
Moserobie
2015
buy
Basement Sessions Vol. 2
Basement Sessions...
Clean Feed Records
2015
buy
Basement Sessions Vol. 2
Basement Sessions...
Clean Feed Records
2014
buy
Låt Det Vara
Låt Det Vara
Moserobie
2013
buy
[no cover]
Basement Sessions...
Atrium
2012
buy
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman
saxophone
Art Pepper Art Pepper
sax, alto
Dave Liebman Dave Liebman
saxophone
David Murray David Murray
sax, tenor
Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
saxophone
Sam Rivers Sam Rivers
sax, tenor
Billy Taylor Billy Taylor
piano
Oliver Lake Oliver Lake
saxophone
Myron Walden Myron Walden
saxophone
Chris Speed Chris Speed
saxophone
Jeremy Steig Jeremy Steig
flute
Aldo Romano Aldo Romano
drums

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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