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Potsdamer Platz

ACT 9831 - 2


  1. Potsdamer Platz

  2. No. 9

  3. Lycklig Resa

  4. Bullet Train

  5. The Poet

  6. Never Too Late

  7. Twelve Tone Rag

  8. Song For Jörgen

  9. Dance Of Masja

  10. On The Banks Of The Seine

  11. Tväredet

    Jan Lundgren - Piano

    Jukka Perko - Alto sax, soprano sax

    Dan Berglund - Bass

    Morten Lund - Drums

    Now in his early 50s, the Swedish jazz pianist and composer Jan Lundgren has built an international reputation as one of the finest contemporary jazz musicians around. He brings to his performances and recordings a deep appreciation of the jazz piano tradition and a love of the Great American Songbook. In addition, he is steeped in his native land's folk music so adding an extra dimension to his writing and playing. His first recordings as a sideman were back in 1990, his debut album as a leader was in 1994. He is joined for this latest offering by bassist Dan Berglund, his fellow countryman, known for his work with the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (EST). The quartet on this disc is completed by the immensely talented Finnish altoist, Jukka Perko and the in-demand Danish drummer Morten Lund, who has worked with the likes of Stefano Bollani, Marius Neset and Paulo Fresu. All the compositions for this session are by Lundgren with the sole exception of Tv äredet (from the pen of Per Ödberg).

    While a consistent level of excellence is attained throughout, there are four outstanding tracks. Potsdamer Platz refers to Munich's hotel of the same name and gets the group off to a flying start with an enticing melody, played with ebullience and charm. Lundgren's sure touch illuminates the theme while Perko is stylish and impassioned on alto. No. 9 is a nostalgic ballad where Lundgren and Perko demonstrate sublime sensitivity. The gently swinging, blues-tinged, Lycklig Resa is nothing short of superb. Berglund's rich bass sound is among the treasures on this one. Never Too Late features Perko's fragile soprano sax and Lundgren's considered, immaculate playing. You could, however, dip in anywhere on this album and be enthralled. Dance Of Masja, for instance, is a folksy piece which swings furiously and evokes Klezmer music and has more than a hint of Kurt Weill. Although Lundgren and Perko are to the fore on this recording, there is plenty of scope for Berglund and Lund to impress, as on Twelve Tone Rag or Song For J örgen. The truth is that there are no passengers in this group, no bit players. Each one brings something essential to the success of the whole.

    I hope I've communicated my enthusiasm for the album, which is well worth anyone's time (and money). Just a final comment. Apart from a track from Perko's album Invisible Man, included in a recent ACT compilation, I hadn't heard him play before. In him we have another European jazz musician in the process of moving to the front rank, joining Jan Lundgren who is already there!

    James Poore

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