|JAZZNYHETER AKTUELLA EVENEMANG KLUBBJAZZ SKIVNYHETER BÖCKER PRISVINNARE KLASSISKA SKIVOMSLAG LÄNKAR|
|Lars Färnlöf. DIG Jazz om trumpetaren/kornettisten och kompositören Lars Färnlöf.
Recension av albumet Sansara Music Band plays the Music of Lars Färnlöf + Lars Westins omslagstext
En nyårsraket det sprakar om!
Sansara Music Band
Plays the music
Jag har många minnesbilder av kornettisten och kompositören Lars Färnlöf. Från hans första steg hemma i Västerås mot berömmelse hemma genom en seger i TV-Jazzen med pianisten Leif Erikssons kvartett. Glömmer aldrig hans medverkan i Staffan Abeleens dynamiska kvintett vars täta besök noga relaterades i Västmanlands Läns Tidning. Ibland kunde bandet även förgyllas av sångaren Rock-Boris Lindqvist och huldran Monica Zetterlund.
Idag trettio år senare kommer den här cd:n med Sansara. Lars dynamiska och stundtals romantiska melodier hörs i en upptagning från Sveriges Radio 1976. Musiken är hämtad från programmet Spelrum För Jazz som Inge Dahl producerade. Här är laguppställningen en annan. Lars, Bernt och Fredrik finns med, Abeleen ersätts av Bobo Stenson, gitarren är borta. Thomas Östergren spelar elbas och den fantastiska Sabu Martinez är percussionist. All musik är Lasses och kan betecknas som cross over där hans el-trumpet och en Fender Rhodes ger nya klanger men ändock med ett budskapstänkande i botten. Energin och ärligheten är fortfarande ett varumärke. Vill man söka Lars förebilder ligger Nat Adderley och Miles nära till hands. Nat när han rörde sig i budskapsandan. I harmoniska lägen var det Miles som anades speciellt när han använde sordin.
Intressant i den här återblicken är att musiken snarare blivit än ädlare med åren. Här är det frågan om klass och övertygelse som få av dagens grupper nuddar vid. Med från debutplattan är ouvertyren Boutique Sandhamn som på direkten visar gruppens höga klass och intentioner.
Det är inte enbart Sabu och Fredrik som ger skivan en häftig groove. Alla ligger på max. De solistiska utbrotten är många och sällsynt lyckade. Lasse och Bernt var ett häftigt par som skulle ha tålt en internationell lansering. En extra knorr ger den Fender Rhodes som Bobo elegant styr ut. I den vackra It´s All Over Now sveper den in de harmoniska blåsarna i en skir bädd. Melodin måste vara en av Lasses mest fulländade kompositioner i sin klara enkelhet. I den tretton minuter långa suggestiva Song Of Hesperia visar Bernt vilken tenormästare han är, majestätisk med inspirerande fraser. Här får också Fredriks trummor chansen att ta ett långt solo påhejad av Sabu.
Tredelade Birth Cry med sin latinkaraktär har i mitten en kort interlude där Bernts flöjt lutar sig mot ljusa pianobroderier. I den avslutande satsen gör Bobo en lysande en soloraid som får bandet att gå på knock. Lasses el-trumpet är glödhet och intensiv.
Sansara Music Band blev för mig en kommande nyårsraket som det verkligen sprakar om. Dessutom påminns man om att Lasses melodibok inte enbart består av Att Angöra En Brygga och Farfars Vals.
Musik skall också
Lars Färnlöf diggar
Anders Ellman frälst
Hemsida med diskografi, verkförteckning mm.
Läs omBengt Hallberg
med Lars Gullin.
musiker och grupper:
|The very essence of jazz?
Lars Westins omslagstext till
Sansara Music Band plays the Music of Lars Färnlöf
Although small and fragile in body, Lars Färnlöf (1942-94) rose head and shoulders above most of his peers, measured in musical creativity and sincerity. First and foremost he managed in depth to touch the hearts of his listeners, which is what making music is really all about. Those of us who experienced him in “live” performances fondly treasure those memories. Moreover, while some of his compositions are continually revived by new generations of performers, others remain (and deserve) to be “re-discovered”. This CD hopefully contributes to that.
Lars grew up as part of a musical family in Västerås, a 90-minute train-ride northwest of Stockholm. Having been being struck by polio at the age of seven, he started to study music while slowly regaining his bodily abilities. Rising to local stardom as a jazz trumpeter already in his early teens, his exceptional talents were confirmed by success in a nationwide “TV-jazz” competition in 1958, headed by former bassist and bandleader Arthur Österwall.
When Lars moved to Stockholm the following year in order to study at the Royal Academy of Music, he connected with other young jazz-players gathering at Sunside, a youth recreation centre run by Österwall, and also at the legendary dance-venue Nalen just a couple of blocks away. Saxophonist Bernt Rosengren, drummer Fredrik Norén, and pianist Staffan Abeleen, were among those he befriended, and in 1960 he enrolled in Abeleen’s new quintet, becoming the main contributor to its repertoire and changing his trumpet for a cornet.
Early on, Lars Färnlöf developed a bittersweet, lyrical (some may call it romantic) version of American hard-bop. His rhythmic fire and beautiful melodies with their congenial harmonics were different from those of the American jazz heroes of the time. Färnlöf’s “soul” was as much rooted in Scandinavian soil as it was in that of the homeland of jazz. Many found that his compositions showed an affinity with his Nordic musical heritage (melodies moving between major and minor, three/four-time in dawdling, suggestive tempos), but they were, more than anything, reflections of his unique personality.
The Staffan Abeleen Quintet was a success, playing at venues all around Sweden, making EP records, and even opening for Thelonious Monk at the Stockholm Concert Hall in 1961. During the first half of the 1960s, a lot of time was spent working around Europe, not least at American servicemen’s clubs in Germany. The quintet also accompanied singer Monica Zetterlund on a couple of summer tours in the Swedish “folk parks”. She sang some of Färnlöf’s melodies with lyrics by Beppe Wolgers, including “Farfars vals” (which went on to be recorded as an instrumental, “Grandfather’s Waltz”, by Stan Getz and Bill Evans) and “Att bli övergiven”, performed here by Sansara as “It’s all over”. In 1966, Monica’s voice was also the main feature in Färnlöf’s theme to the Hasse Alfredsson and Tage Danielsson movie “Att angöra en brygga”, a song well-known to and beloved by most Swedes ever since.
By that time, the jazz scene in Sweden had more or less vanished, and Abeleen’s band had transformed into a part-time project that would continue on and off until 1975. Ten years before that, early in 1965 (still only 22), Lars had embarked on a trip to Los Angeles for studies at the University of Southern California. While expanding his knowledge in composing and arranging, he also made new experiences living in the Watts area, working with a Hammond organ group at a local club, and gaining friendship and encouragement from many American musicians, including Quincy Jones. He also started playing flugelhorn and processing his sound using electronic devices.
After returning to Sweden in 1967, Lars re-connected with Abeleen and occasionally tried new formations of his own, one being a sextet co-led with American trombonist Ron Myers. He did, however, become increasingly occupied with movie scores and other commissions for a variety of ensembles, including the Swedish Radio Jazz Group and symphony orchestras. (Lars even made an attempt at the Eurovision Song Contest, but met his Waterloo in the shape of the pop group ABBA in the Swedish qualifying round.)
In the mid-1970s, having spent several years off the scene, Lars was approached by Bernt Rosengren to join his newly-formed big band. This started him playing again, and he really enjoyed being part of a band. The formation of Sansara grew out of this experience. I don’t know where he got the idea for the name, but Sansara is the Sanskrit word in Indian religion for the pre-Nirvana struggle of mankind (birth, life, death, re-birth… and so on and on again). It can also be interpreted as a description of the constant state of development in music.
From 1976 and onwards, Sansara appeared occasionally in concerts. I have a vague memory of what I think was the band’s première at the short-lived club Bullerbyn in an old building above the railroad tracks at the Central Station in Stockholm. The music on this CD was recorded for the Swedish Radio shortly after that. Years later, Lars found a tape copy which he enthusiastically played for Fredrik Norén over the phone, urging him to try and get it out on record. He did, here it is, and it’s a real treat!
Besides his old friends Fredrik Norén, who had played in one of the early editions of the Staffan Abeleen quintet, and Bernt Rosengren, Lars surrounded himself in this context with the legendary American conga player Sabu Martinez (1930-79), whose fiery rhythms had formerly enhanced the music of Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, and other American jazz stars. After moving here with his family in 1967, Sabu became a vital force in Swedish jazz and also a vitalizer of other kinds of music. On acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes was Bobo Stenson who, like Lars, grew up in Västerås and who was just 15 when Lars proudly introduced him as an up-and-coming jazz player to his fellow-musicians in the Abeleen band. On the electric bass-guitar was Thomas Östergren, a versatile player who contributed to numerous Swedish “fusion” projects in the 1970s and 1980s.
When Sansara’s sole LP was taped nine months later at the Fasching jazz club, the personnel had changed, only Lars Färnlöf, Bernt Rosengren and Fredrik Norén were still present. It kept on changing from one time to another, when Lars managed to find a gig or two. Due to illness, he once even engaged a trumpeter to substitute for himself. His compositions remained
In our conversations over the years, Lars often emphasized the value of sharing and comparing musical ideas and experiences in improvising together. He also expressed his sadness over the fact that jam sessions had become unfashionable, and that there were no longer any opportunities for musicians to play with each other outside of fixed formations. He strongly advocated mixtures of different styles, elements and personalities in order to make music expand into new areas of expression and depths of sincerity.
That’s what Sansara was all about. Isn’t that the very essence of jazz?
|JAZZNYHETER AKTUELLA EVENEMANG KLUBBJAZZ SKIVNYHETER BÖCKER PRISVINNARE KLASSISKA SKIVOMSLAG LÄNKAR|