Tag Archives: Torbjorn Zetterberg

All About Jazz Italia review by Maurizio Zerbo

CF 293Kullhammar / Aalberg / Zetterberg: Basement Sessions Vol. 2 (CF 293)
La pesante ombra dell’eredità coltraniana si insinua nelle trame di questo disco, per quel che riguarda il sound ed il linguaggio proposto. Il trio svedese rivela però una personalità che va oltre il modello di riferimento, grazie ad una tessitura fluida ed volatile. Fra i musicisti si è instaurato un rapporto di intesa molto profondo e lo si percepisce dal loro modo di entrare in medias res senza preliminari esplorativi.

L’obiettivo è quello di conciliare anche a livello compositivo le predette influenze con quelle postboppistiche, padroneggiando un aplomb ritmico di assoluto rilievo. La musica è costantemente tenuta su un asse di notevole intensità espressiva, grazie alle complesse scansioni di basso e batteria. Il loro incedere centrifugo eleva l’interplay verso una dimensione di libero confronto improvvisativo con le ance di Jonas Kullhammar.

La sonorità abrasiva e rovente del suo sax spazia ad ampio raggio nei derivati del free, offrendo un bel saggio di tecnica e dinamica espressiva. Ne discende una sintesi variegata, ricca di colori accesi e mutamenti di clima. Sin dal brano d’apertura, lo spunto tematico delle composizioni originali assume via via toni diversi e contrastanti fino ad aprirsi alle suggestioni mediorientali.


Tom Hull – On The Web Best of 2014 list by Tom Hull

The Best Jazz Albums of 2014

1.Steve Lehman Octet: Mise en Abîme (Pi)
2.Duduvudu: The Gospel According to Dudu Pukwana (Edgetone)
3.Paul Shapiro: Shofarot Verses (Tzadik)
4.Revolutionary Snake Ensemble: Live Snakes (Accurate)
5.Digital Primitives: Lipsomuch/Soul Searchin’ (Hopscotch, 2CD)

CF3136.Velkro: Don’t Wait for the Revolution (Clean Feed)
7.Ivo Perelman: The Other Edge (Leo)
8.Rent Romus’ Life’s Blood Ensemble: Cimmerian Crossroads (Edgetone)

CF 2929.Kris Davis Trio: Waiting for You to Grow (Clean Feed)
10.Craig Handy: Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith (Okeh)
11.Allen Lowe: Mulatto Radio: Field Recordings: 1-4 (Constant Sorrow, 4CD)
12.Farmers by Nature: Love and Ghosts (AUM Fidelity, 2CD)
13.Waclaw Zimpel To Tu Orchestra: Nature Moves (Fortune)
14.Jonas Kullhammar: Gentlemen (2014, Moserobie)
15.Regina Carter: Southern Comfort (Sony Masterworks)

CF 29316.Jonas Kullhammar/Torbjörn Zetterberg/Espen Aalberg: Basement Sessions Vol. 2 (Clean Feed)
17.Rich Halley 4: The Wisdom of Rocks (Pine Eagle)
18.Ben Flocks: Battle Mountain (self-released)
19.Peter Van Huffel/Michael Bates/Jeff Davis: Boom Crane (Fresh Sound New Talent)
20.John Hollenbeck/Alban Darche/Sébastien Boisseau/Samuel Blaser: JASS (Yolk)
21.Barbara Morrison: I Love You, Yes I Do (Savant)
22.Mary Halvorson/Michael Formanek/Tomas Fujiwara: Thumbscrew (Cuneiform)
23.Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Liverevil (Hot Cup, 2CD)
24.Bobby Avey: Authority Melts From Me (Whirlwind)
25.Wadada Leo Smith/Jamie Saft/Joe Morris/Balasz Pandi: Red Hill (Rare Noise)
26.Free Nelson Mandoomjazz: The Shape of Doomjazz to Come/Saxophone Giganticus (RareNoise)
27.Dave Douglas/Chet Doxas/Steve Swallow/Jim Doxas: Riverside (Greenleaf Music)
28.François Carrier/Michel Lambert/Alexey Lapin: The Russian Concerts (FMR)
29.Joachim Kühn/Alexey Kruglov: Duo Art: Moscow (ACT)
30.Tom Rainey: Obbligato (Intakt)
31.Catherine Russell: Bring It Back (Jazz Village)
32.Michael Blake: Tiddy Boom (2014, Sunnyside)
33.Anne Waldman: Jaguar Harmonics (Fast Speaking Music)
CF29434.Eric Revis: In Memory of Things Yet Seen (Clean Feed)
35.Jason Ajemian: Folklords (Delmark)
36.Sonny Simmons/Delphine Latil/Thomas Bellier: Beyond the Planets (Improvising Beings, 2CD)
37.The Mark Lomax Trio: Isis & Osiris (Inarhyme)

CF29738.Rodrigo Amado: Wire Quartet (Clean Feed)
39.The Core Trio: The Core Trio With Matthew Shipp (self-released)
40.Mike DiRubbo: Threshold (Ksanti)
41.Michael Griener/Rudi Mahall/Jan Roder/Christof Thewes: Squakk: Willisau & Berlin (Intakt)

CF30742.Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra: Live in Ljubljana (Clean Feed)
43.Sonny Rollins: Road Shows: Volume 3 (2001-12, Okeh)
44.Marlene VerPlanck: I Give Up, I’m in Love (Audiophile)
45.Ivo Perelman/Karl Berger: Reverie (Leo)
46.The Microscopic Septet: Manhattan Moonrise (Cuneiform)
47.Audio One: An International Report (Audiographic)
48.Billy Bang/William Parker: Medicine Buddha (2009 [2014], NoBusiness)
49.The Young Mothers: A Mothers Work Is Never Done (Tektite)
50.Kali Z. Fasteau: Piano Rapture (Flying Note)
51.Andy Biskin Ibid: Act Necessary (Strudelmedia)
52.William Hooker & Liudas Mockunas: Live at the Vilnius Jazz Festival (NoBusiness)

CF31453.Zanussi 5: Live in Coimbra (Clean Feed)
54.Marcin Wasilewski Trio w/Joakim Milder: Spark of Life (ECM)
55.Ezra Weiss Sextet: Before You Know It: Live in Portland (Roark)
56.Assif Tsahar/Gerry Hemingway/Mark Dresser: Code Re(a)d (Hopscotch)
57.Noah Preminger: Background Music (Fresh Sound New Talent)
58.Richard Galliano: Sentimentale (Resonance)
CF309CD59.Cortex: Live! (Clean Feed)
60.Greg Abate Quartet: Motif (Whaling City Sound)
61.Sam Newsome: The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation [The Art of the Soprano, Vol. 2] (self-released)
62.Vijay Iyer: Mutations (ECM)
63.Dave Burrell/Steve Swell: Turning Point NoBusiness)
64.Wadada Leo Smith: The Great Lakes Suites (TUM, 2CD)
65.Lajos Dudas Quartet: Live at Salzburger Jazzherbst (Jazz Sick -13)
CF312CD66.Luis Lopes Lisbon Berlin Trio: The Line (Clean Feed)
67.Moskus: Mestertyven (Hubro)
68.James Brandon Lewis: Divine Travels (Okeh)


The Big City Best of 2014 list by Bill Meyer’s

Best Jazz Albuns of 2014
Best New Releases:

1 Steve Lehman Octet, Mise En Abîme (Pi)
2 Trio 3 & Vijay Iyer, Wiring (Intakt)
CF3063 Joe Mor­ris Quar­tet, Bal­ance (Clean Feed)
4 Mark Turner Quar­tet, Lathe of Heaven (ECM)
5 Ken Thom­son and Slow/Fast, Set­tle (NCM East)
6 Fred Her­sch Trio, Float­ing (MRI)
7 Tom Har­rell, The Audi­to­rium Ses­sion (Parco Della Musica)
8 Jochen Ruek­ert, We Make the Rules (Whirlwind)
CF 2939 Kul­ham­mar, Aal­berg, Zetter­berg, Base­ment Ses­sions Vol. 2 (Clean Feed)
10 PRISM Quar­tet, People’s Emer­gency Cen­ter (Innova)


Time Out review by José Carlos Fernandes

CF308CDKullhammar/Zetterberg/Aalberg/Mathisen – The Basement Sessions vol. 3: The Ljubljana Tapes (CF 308)
Chegados ao vol. 3 das Basement Sessions, surgem duas alterações: o trio de Jonas Kullhammar (sax, flauta), Torbjörn Zetterberg (contrabaixo) e Espen Aalberg (bateria) recebe o reforço de Jorgen Mathisen (sax) e troca o estúdio pelo live (mas sem público) no Festival de Jazz de Ljubljana de 2013. A orientação estética mantém-se: uma releitura do jazz mais irrequieto do início dos anos 60 – Ornette Coleman é a referência-chave e está bem patente em “Allting Kan Ga Itu”. As duas faixas mais incandescentes são “Fresk Baglaens” assente num riff obsediante, sustentado alternadamente por Kullhammar e Mathisen, e “Rough 2”, com a secção rítmica a tecer um groove hipnótico e preguiçoso – até que o frenesim dos saxes a faz descarrilar.

The Squid’s Ear review by Florence Wetzel

CF 293Kullhammar / Aalberg / Zetterberg  – Basement Sessions Vol. 2 (CF 293)
Hard-bop saxophone trios are one of the most popular jazz configurations, particularly the legendary groups led by Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, and Dexter Gordon. The question is, how can a modern group play this music without sounding imitative or nostalgic? One answer comes from the wonderful Scandinavian triad of Jonas Kullhammar on horns, Torbjörn Zetterberg on double bass, and Espen Aalberg on drums. In their release Basement Sessions Vol. 2, the hard-bop tradition infuses the proceedings, but the form is expressed through a Scandinavian free-jazz sensibility, which proves to be an incredibly compelling combination.

These three musicians are all under forty years old, but each has lengthy and impressive experience in both traditional and free forms. Perhaps the group’s strongest inheritance from their hard-bop ancestors is their toe-tapping, finger-snapping swing. The trio has internalized the mighty hard-bop engine, that potent inner drive which is simultaneously strong and loose. But rather than covering classic songs from the hard-bop canon, the group has six fresh compositions from Aalberg, plus a cover from the great Swedish saxophonist Bernt Rosengren. Aalberg is a wonderfully inventive composer; his lively melodies invoke the masters, but are brightly original throughout.

Standouts include the CD’s opener, “Moksha,” which features Kullhammar on taragato, a Hungarian woodwind similar to a clarinet but with a rich, burnished tone. The melody is haunting and a touch mournful, and Kullhammar plays with a yearning that’s quite moving. There’s also some spacious solo bass work by Zetterberg, which offers a delicious contrast to the taragato’s opulence. Aalberg shines as well, stoking the engine of the drums with fantastic technique and unfailing energy. “Triton” is a beautiful song with a mischievous spirit and a playful melody, featuring an enjoyably wild solo by Kullhammar, and a drum solo by Aalberg full of sumptuous swing. The trio also delivers a gorgeous rendition of Bernt Rosengren’s “Gluck,” with Kullhammar diving heart-first into the angular melody, and Zetterberg delivering another pleasingly intricate solo. It’s nice to hear the group pay homage to Rosengren, who is one of the great Swedish hard-bop players, not to mention a major force in the Swedish post-bop movement.

Altogether Basement Sessions Vol. 2 is a swinging and exciting offering by three very fine musicians. It’s a beautiful merging of American and European sensibilities, as well as a model for how jazz musicians can honor the past while simultaneously keeping the music fresh and powerful.


Free Jazz review by Stefan Wood

CF308CDJonas Kullhammar – Basement Sessions Volume 3: The Ljubljana Tapes (CF 308)
Recorded in 2013, Jonas Kullhammar’s “Basement Sessions volume 3: The Ljubljana Tapes” is a live concert, featuring Kullhammar, Jorgen Mathisen on tenor, Torbjorn Zettberg on bass, and Espen Aalberg on drums.

“Basement,” composed by Mathisen, is a high energy track that gets everyone hitting on all cylinders, Aalberg and Zettberg providing a solid, toe tapping hard bop rhythm, with Kullhammar and Mathisen synchronizing the lead. It is very spiritual, and evokes mid 60’s Coltrane. “Allting kan ga itu” is a Kullhammar tune, very Dolphy esque, the saxophones going up and down the keys, before moving into a Zombies “Time of the Season” rhythm with saxes playfully on top of the beat. “Master of What” is a more contemplative, slightly somber tune by Zettberg, with the group establishing a theme, then Kullhammar or Mathisen alternating solos, each doing variations of the theme, then playing together. “Fresk Baglaens” is a funky hard bop tune, Zettberg providing a deep bottom with the bass, a sax keeping the rhythm while the other does a free improv solo. Toe tapping ear candy goodness, with a nice drum solo by Aalberg. “Rough 2” has that old Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers swagger, a medium tempo, low key swing that, once the theme is established, passes off to long stretching solos by each horn player, then back to the theme. Very old school, yet refreshing. The album ends with “Sekar Jepun,” a low key mood piece that again evoke’s Coltrane, spiritual yet somber.

Kullhammar’s group has really taken the music from the past and made it contemporary, evoking, yet never imitating. Their own personal cultural heritage, as well as incorporating modern improvisation esthetics, have helped to create their own sound. One surprising thing about this album is how short it is — less than 43 minutes. That may be a good thing. It does leave you wanting for more — but that problem is solved by going back to the other two volumes in this series. Another fine effort by this group.


Free Jazz review by Stefan Wood

CF 293Kullhammar/Zetterberg/Aalberg – Basement Sessions Vol 2 (CF 293)
Jonas Kullhammar’s Basement Sessions: Volume 2 is an excellent album, confident and powerful, influenced by and adding to the great tradition of hard bop sax/bass/drum trios like Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, Ornette Coleman, and Dexter Gordon. This album is a tribute to a trio led by Elvin Jones, who, with Joe Farrell and Jimmy Garrison, released two albums on Blue Note — Puttin’ it Together, and Ultimate.

The trio of Jonas Kullhammar, Espen Aalberg and Torbjorn Zetterberg were clearly drawing from these sessions as inspiration for the Basement Sessions. Drummer Aalberg, composer of most of the compositions, evokes the spirit of those Blue Note sessions in track like Gluck, One for Joe, Elvin’s Birthday Song and Moserobie Blues, with Kullhammar punching and parrying playfully thoughout, and Zetterberg laying the solid rhythms to provide the glue between the two. Yet while upholding this tradition, they are cognizant of the contemporary music scene, and tracks like Moksha and Triton, they become more contemplative and abstract without being too obtuse.

Kullhammar has had, throughout his career, one foot in traditional hard bop and the other in contemporary improvisational music, and his efforts to combine both and make meaningful, urgent jazz in the 21st century make for compelling listening. With the combined efforts of Aalberg and Zetterberg, Kullhammar has put out one of his best efforts in years.