160

Artwork: Two of a Kind

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Two of a Kind seeks to embody in musical terms the best of two possible worlds: those of Sweden and the United States. Artwork is a sextet composed of three Swedes (Jan Allan, Hans Backenroth, Johan Lofcrantz Ramsay), two Americans (Jack Wilkins, Tamara Danielsson) and a Swedish expatriate (Per Danielsson). The music it has chosen is a seductive bilingual blend, comprising as it does five compositions by tenor saxophonist Wilkins, four by the acclaimed Swedish bassist Georg Riedel (who was actually born in Czechoslovakia), jazz standards by Joe Henderson ("The Kicker") and Mal Waldron ("Soul Eyes"), Victor Young's "Beautiful Love," the classic film theme "Singin' in the Rain," and Jimmy Webb's popular folk song, "Wichita Lineman." Aside from Riedel's compositions, Wilkins arranged everything save "Beautiful Love" (Per Danielsson) and "Wichita Lineman" (Tamara Danielsson).

Allan, a veteran trumpeter whose extensive resume abounds with the names of world-class jazz artists from Europe and America, shares the front line with Wilkins and alto saxophonist Tamara Danielsson. Originally from Seattle, WA, she is married to Per Danielsson, a Swede who came to the U.S. in 1984 to study at the University of North Texas and who is now a professor of jazz piano at the University of Central Florida. Completing the rhythm section are bassist Backenroth, from Karlstad, and drummer Ramsay, a professor at the Royal College of Music in his hometown, Stockholm.

Per Danielsson must have learned his lessons well, as his solos are models of elegance and proficiency. Allan and Wilkins keep pace with impressive statements of their own, while Tamara Danielsson, who solos less often (but is out front all the way on "Wichita Lineman"), makes the most of every opportunity. Good as they are, however, the effervescent charts almost steal the show. Wilkins' themes, which include tributes to Art Blakey ("Artwork") and Wayne Shorter ("Shorter Path"), are bright and engaging, as are those by Riedel, especially the lyrical "Absolution" and sprightly "Tumba Samba." Allan, Wilkins and Per Danielsson master them (and every other tune) as to the manor born, while Backenroth and Ramsay provide impeccable support, making for a session of high-quality jazz performed by blue-chip musicians.

Track Listing: Artwork; Absolution; Singin' in the Rain; Beautiful Love; Sommar Adjo; Pojke I Dimma; Walt in the Trap; Tumba Samba; The Kicker; Soul Eyes; Cape Waltz; Shorter Path; Wichita Lineman; Boneyard.

Personnel: Jan Allan: trumpet; Jack Wilkins: tenor sax; Tamara Danielsson: alto sax; Per Danielsson: piano; Hans Beckenroth: bass; Johan L. Ramsey: drums.

Title: Two of a Kind | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: J.A.M. Produktion


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Ephimeral" CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Music From Our Soul" CD/LP/Track Review Music From Our Soul
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "Concert Of The Century" CD/LP/Track Review Concert Of The Century
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: August 10, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Stereotomic" CD/LP/Track Review Stereotomic
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Constant Change 1976-2016" CD/LP/Track Review Constant Change 1976-2016
by John Sharpe
Published: July 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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