Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.
Johan Randen is amassing a notable reputation in Europe as a nascent guitar-slinger and session ace. On 24 year-old Swede's third solo outing, Randen conveys guile and exemplary technical acumen. The album also signifies a resume that highlights the guitarist's diverse bag of tricks and comprehensive vernacular, while projecting a comfort zone within several genres. With guest musicians lending a hand on several pieces, Randen also performs on bass, piano, and keyboards.
Randen doesn't reinvent the wheel, but works through several formats amid his clear-toned guitar phrasings and shrewd use of distortion techniques, intimating a strong penchant for dynamics. His arsenal includes blistering boogie vamps, C&W, contemporary jazz, jazz/funk, and progressive rock.
The guitarist picks his spots wisely and builds tension to heighten the intensities of select passages. He's also adept with balladry, evidenced by the acoustic-electric "Sky Express," designed with a windswept melody atop a steady backbeat. On "E.R.T.," he belts out a Joe Satriani-type rocker via an in-your-face gait, amplified by his howling notes and intricately articulated phrasings. And the funk-groove element resurfaces on "Cheese & Miller," firmed-up by his slapping bass parts and trumpeter Ingemar Andersson's bronzy choruses.
Randen zooms in for the kill but also shows restraint and delves into the core compositional attributes as opposed to fueling a conglomerate of extended solo jaunts. He's a slick picker, but focuses more on the big picture. Possessing imposing chops and a sophisticated musical stance, it would appear that the best is yet to come.
I love jazz because it’s what sounds
I was first exposed to jazz in my
parents household and in school
I appreciate many styles of jazz
and shy away from really outside
stuff. I enjoy relating to the
One of the best shows I ever
attended was 1975 Chick Corea’s
Return To Forever tour at an
intimate venue in downtown
The first jazz record I bought was
Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon.
My advice to new listeners is try
several styles before you decide
what jazz is all about!
Listen to music daily and stay open