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Brent Black reviews Sean Nowell “Stockholm Swingin’ “…

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Great live albums in jazz you can count on one hand. Be sure and save room for Stockholm Swingin’ as Alabama native Sean Nowell and friends take old school and indeed make it new cool with a blistering romp through some straight ahead classics and a few surprises to add some flavor to a jazz foundation that swings like a beast. Nowell and drummer Joe Abba made a stop over in Stockholm Sweden and gigged with a trio of Swedish musicians whose groove is so tight they could strip paint.
Recorded live at the Glen Miller Cafe’ in Stockholm, Nowell edgy tenor cuts through the night air with the precision of a sonic surgeon as McCoy Tyner’s “Blues On The Corner” swings till it bleeds. Nowell’s original “NY Vibe” is another blues infused blistering romp with this quintet firing on all cylinders. Old school and straight ahead post bop done with a lyrical driven purpose, swing with an attitude. “Chelsea Bridge” is a ballad straight from the soul, actually find Nowell’s musical soul then take a hard left and you just may find the incredibly deep emotional waters this tune is pulled from. With the notable exceptions of “Blues On The Corner” and “Chelsea Bridge” this is not a set list made up of standards that lend themselves to the more hard charging post bop style that permeates this release. Pianist Leo Lindberg and drummer Joe Abba both contribute original compositions and of course it would certainly be remiss to forget the Duke Ellington tune “Amad.”
The quintet on this live showcase is on fire, musical chemistry is reinvented into musical synergy as this ensemble tackles each tune with a cohesive yet harmonious sense of musical direction and purpose. Playing the role of jazz critic is far more than being critical, done correctly it is about becoming a jazz advocate. Look under every rock and in every musical nook and cranny and finding fault on this amazing live set would be a daunting task indeed.
Jazz that will touch your soul and set your hair on fire all at the same time. Jazz gets no better than this.

Written by editor

April 3rd, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Reviews

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