Mar 11 2014
There’s a very personable quality to the quirkiness of Bangård, the new release by the Rasmus Nyvall Kvintett. Consisting of two ensembles, a quintet and quartet, the music shifts between soulful music with spasmodic tendencies and a chamber music beauty that induces contemplative reveries.
The quintet features the vocals of Linda Bergström and straddles a peaceful Nordic folk-jazz approach, though with improvisatory bursts to shake the music free of any impending sleepiness. Bergström sings in her native Swedish tongue, providing a sense of intimacy via the sense that these are the true words, the undiluted message of the lyricist, and the substance of that meaning outweighs the ability to understand the actual lyrics. Nyvall sticks to tenor sax when with the quintet, a flighty presence that hops about at a moment’s notice.
With the quartet, however, Nyvall is on clarinet, and considering this formation is strictly wind instruments, it’s understandable that his demeanor has a more defined grace than when with the quintet, where he’s called upon to provide creative outbursts in wide open spaces. The wind quartet is a moody soul, but from it shines a melodic light full of hope and happiness.
The four wind quartet contributions are spread throughout the album, constructing the album in a way that provides some of the reassuring certainty of artistic structure, while also allowing for plenty of space in between for improvisatory jumps and leaps of faith.
A likable album, one that hasn’t yet really gotten its claws in me, per se, yet I find myself compelled to return to it each day. I’ve always taken that for a good sign, and it pretty much guarantees a write-up on this site.
Your album personnel: The Quintet: Rasmus Nyvall (tenor sax), Linda Bergström (vocals), Fanny Gunnarsson (piano), Mattias Hjorth (double bass), and Kristoffer Rostedt (drums).
Your album personnel: The Quartet: Rasmus Nyvall (clarinet), Ellen Pettersson (trumpet), Cecilia Sandgren (French horn), and Daniel Cederskär (bass clarinet).
Released on Havtorn Records.
Jazz from the Malmö, Sweden scene.