Jan Lundgren – Potsdamer Platz (2017) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Jan Lundgren – Potsdamer Platz (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 56:57 minutes | 1,17 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front Cover | © ACT Music

On this critically acclaimed album, pianist Jan Lundgren displays his deep understanding of both tradition and modernism together with his preternatural instinct for bringing the two together. Entirely composed by Lundgren save for one track, Potsdamer Platz provides ample evidence of the compatibility of the musicians and their growth together as the band moves forward with a clear and strong common purpose.

Pianist Jan Lundgren is a fine example of a classically-trained European musician with a strong empathy with mainstream jazz. Potsdamer Platz is, in turn, a fine example of Lundgren’s ability to compose fresh-sounding and often beautiful tunes, allied to a talented quartet of players who know just how to bring the pianist’s ideas to life.

The all-Scandinavian band is terrific—Finnish saxophonist Jukka Perko, Danish drummer Morten Lund and Lundgren’s fellow Swede Dan Berglund on bass. The quartet decamped to Germany to record: Hansa Studio is situated on the titular Berlin square. There’s a jauntiness to tunes like “Twelve Tone Rag” (where some of Lundgren’s phrasing could be mistaken for Mose Allison’s) and the catchy “Potsdamer Platz”—which opens proceedings in an upbeat and positive fashion. “Dance Of Masja” ups the jauntiness quotient: a fast tempo, a rolling rhythm and some driving percussion add up to a great 6′ 25″ of music. By contrast, “No. 9” and “Never Too Late” display a more vulnerable and melancholy side to Lundgren’s writing (and to the quartet’s playing). Both tunes are quite beautiful. “Lycklig Resa” might just be the coolest track of the year. Effortless waltz-time swing, a graceful melody, Perko’s mellow saxophone all generate a nostalgic, early-60s mood. Dudley Moore, Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond spring readily to mind alongside visions of E-type Jags, sharp suits and a touch of brylcreem. Lundgren wrote it as a tribute to Jan Johansson, Sweden’s star jazz pianist of the ’60s, and it certainly fits that bill.

01 – Potsdamer Platz
02 – No. 9
03 – Lycklig Resa
04 – Bullet Train
05 – The Poet
06 – Never Too Late
07 – Twelve Tone Rag
08 – Song for Jørgen
09 – Dance of Masja
10 – On the Banks of the Seine
11 – Tväredet

Produced by Siggi Loch.
Recorded on May 3 & 4, 2015 at Hansa Studio, Berlin.
Engineered, Mixed & Mastered by Arne Schumann.

Jan Lundgren – piano
Jukka Perko – alto & soprano saxophone
Dan Berglund – bass
Morten Lund – drums