Josefine Lindstrand, Where the Lilies Grow, O-tone ****

Dark and appealing with a mysterious, forboding centre the lyric built on a sensation of fear, 'Where the Lilies Grow' is from Mirages by the Lake released next month. Josefine Lindstrand has a very unmannered voice that harnesses considerable …

Published: 17 Jan 2022. Updated: 4 months.

Dark and appealing with a mysterious, forboding centre the lyric built on a sensation of fear, 'Where the Lilies Grow' is from Mirages by the Lake released next month. Josefine Lindstrand has a very unmannered voice that harnesses considerable power and flexibility. Recorded in a studio near Stockholm, Jonas Östholm is on piano, Gunnar Halle trumpet, Pär-Ola Landin double bass and Fredrik Myhr on drums. Landin provides one of the great moments of this darkly intense ballad when he begins a delicate solo. But it is Lindstrand's role overall that entrances primarily, her voice here occupying the sort of territory that Youn Sun Nah often finds herself in. The spooky choral effect towards the end goes a step further to enhance the overall mood quite wonderfully.

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Dave Stryker, As We Are, Strikezone ****

There are quite a lot of swinging, mainstream sounds around at the moment, quite a few of which are a quick fairly easy listening fix that belong to an era that doesn't really exist any more except when jazzers go retro. You could say the same …

Published: 16 Jan 2022. Updated: 4 months.

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There are quite a lot of swinging, mainstream sounds around at the moment, quite a few of which are a quick fairly easy listening fix that belong to an era that doesn't really exist any more except when jazzers go retro. You could say the same about this from guitarist Dave Stryker but it's better than any in the idiom I've found recently, more polished and that bit more imaginative. Even the strings on top of the core group paint that retro picture. The difference compared with some other releases that coast too much is that the group sound here has an urgency and heat provided by Brian Blade with his fellow Wayne Shorter player John Patitucci on bass a formidable presence too. Julian Shore on piano who also arranged the strings, with violinist Sara Carswell soloing on a few tracks, is persuasive and you get the overall feeling of a well-honed machine being put through its paces. Pick of the album is the treatment of Nick Drake classic 'River Man' where Stryker adds his stamp and considerable playing personality in a fine arrangement that harnesses mystery and mood. Stryker is a guitarist's guitarist and has been part of the jazz furniture in the States for years. If you like Nigel Price you will probably get along well with this album and will be eager to dip into the Stryker catalogue with new reinvigorated ears. SG