Kristallen Nils Landgren & Jan Lundgren
- 2Byssan Lull03:50
- 4Didn't We05:21
- 6I Will04:24
- 7Why Did You Let Me Go04:18
- 8Lovers Parade04:57
- 9Norwegian Wood03:43
- 11The Nearness of You05:25
- 13The Wedding04:53
Info for Kristallen
The sound world of “Kristallen” relishes the moment when the surfaces and edges of crystals shimmer and cast off unexpected colours. Duo - it's the most reduced way of making music together. At the same time it can open a whole musical world without borders. Two musicians acting as one and in a dialogue at the same time. Call and response - it's jazz in its purest form. Sometimes less is more…
The sound world of “Kristallen” relishes the moment when the surfaces and edges of crystals shimmer and cast off unexpected colours. There is a certain stillness, and also room for the imagination to unfold. Magic with fragility. Nils Landgren and Jan Lundgren have a consistent vision of lyrical chamber jazz which flows gently and naturally. Rather than clamouring for our attention, this is music which reveals its true beauty the more attentively one listens.
The tone of the album is set from the opening track, “Blekinge”, a reminiscence of the tranquil part of Sweden from which Jan Lundgren hails. It is sublimely light yet thoughtful, a subtle musical language which draws on Swedish folk music and tinges it with jazz. The next track “Byssan Lull” follows on seamlessly: a solemnly intoned folk melody develops into a lively blues. “Hornlåtar” features delightful interplay between trombonist and pianist who take some of the traditional short horn calls from the Swedish tradition and subtly adapt them. This track brings back memories of the 1997 duo recording with Esbjörn Svensson, “Swedish Folk Modern”. Two other pieces also have a profound personal significance for Nils Landgren: “Olu” was on his album ”Gotland” (1996), recorded with Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko who died in 2018. Finally, “Värmlandsvisan” is a homage to Landgren’s native land.
In addition to his own compositions, Jan Lundgren has included tunes by two inspirational pianists: “Country” by Keith Jarrett and “The Wedding” by Abdullah Ibrahim. To complete the selection, there are also pieces from the Great American Songbook and Beatles songs.
The wonderfully instinctive way in which Nils Landgren and Jan Lundgren interact could already be admired on the Leonard Bernstein tribute “Some Other Time”. Now with just the two of them, their sixth sense, their authentic feeling for the same musical styles is all the more evident. A Nordic spirit, deeply romantic emotions, impressionistic colouring and an affirmation of the American jazz tradition: all of these pervade “Kristallen” and bring a special magic to it. Through their deep affinity and their cohesion, this duo has meticulously shaped a radiant and many-hued musical diamond.
Nils Landgren, trombone, vocals
Jan Lundgren, piano
With his smoking, hard-hitting "Funk Unit", the man with the Red Horn has been responsible for a bunch of successful CDs over the past years. His concerts from Stockholm to Beijing have been met with ecstatic acclamation. In duo with pianist Esbjцrn Svensson, he has elevated Swedish folk music to the level of subdued works of art. As the artistic director of the 2001 Berlin Jazz Festival, designed a state of the art presentation of Scandinavian trends and moods. In May 2002 Nils was honored with the Tore Ehrling-prizeґ by the Swedish Society Of Popular Composers for "His outstanding contribution to spread swedish jazz music around the globe".
He is a world-class soloist and artist with heart and soul: Nils Landgren.
Jazz and church music shaped his childhood. As cornetist, Nils Landgren's father brought US jazz into the house. The traditional Swedish chorales and songs came from his grandfather, who was a preacher. Nils Landgren was born in 1956. He began playing drums at the age of six. At 13 he layed his hands and lips on the trombone and was hooked for life.
Between 1972 and 1978 Nils studied classical trombone at the music college in Karlstad with David Maytan and at the university in Arvika with Ingemar Roos. During this time he also met the legendary Swedish Folk-Jazz pioneer Bengt-Arne Wallin and the fantastic tromboneplayer and proffessor of the Graz Conservatory in Austria, Eje Thelin. These two men completely changed the way for Nils to go; from a strict classical player to an improviser with his own idea of what to play and why. After his graduation Nils moved to Stockholm to work as a professional tromboneplayer. First the life of a struggling jazz musician, making no money but gaining loads of experience. Then the call that totally changed his life: an offer to go on tour with Sweden's most successful pop star of that time Bjцrn Skifs who at that time was at #1 in the US pop charts with Hooked on a feelingґ. The money was ok, the vibes were cool and the band was simply great! Ever since that time Nils Landgren has been involved in a variety of music styles and projects. These include jazz, rock, soul, hip hop, big band's, studio sessions, and by his own reckoning, at least 500 albums. Mostly, for natural reasons with Swedish artists but also with such internationals stars as ABBA, The Crusaders, Eddie Harris, Bernard Prettyґ Purdie and Herbie Hancock. Nils even plays on the first Wyclef Jean solo album, titled Carnivalґ.
In 1981 Thad Jones invited the Swede into his new Bigband project Ball of Fireґ, to take the lead-trombone chair. The band was built up around such great musicians as Jerome Richardson, Jerry Dodgion, Tim Hagans, Bobby Burgess, Roger Kellaway, Sahib Shihab, Dusko Goykovich, and Benny. "A fantastic band, sad that it did not work out in the end", Nils says about that expreience. Two years later Nils debut album Planet Rockґ was released, followed by Streetfighterґ in 1984, You are my Nr 1ґ in 1985, Miles from Dukeґ with Bengt-Arne Wallin in 1987, Chapter Two 1ґ, in 1987, Chapter Two 2ґ and Follow your heartґ in 1989. Between 1985 and 1987 Nils also performed as actor, singer, trombonist, and dancer in over 360 performances of the Swedish "play of the year", SKЕL, as well as appearing in several TV-films as an actor.
1992 saw the first performances and recording of the Nils Landgren Unit; the recording was called Red Hornґ, and was mixed by the legendary sound engineer Bruce Swedien. (re-release 2001 as "The First Unit", ACT 9292-2). That same summer the band performed at the Playboy Jazzfestivalґ in Los Angeles, hosted by the great Bill Cosby. The final breakthrough outside of Scandinavia came first in 1994: it was at the Jazz Baltica Festival in Germany that the Unitґ became the Funk Unitґ. The album Live in Stockholmґ (ACT 9223-2) with guest star Maceo Parker was released that year and was the foundation for the collaboration with Siegfried Loch and his young ACT label.