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Spirits - NWT

Trumpeter Lasse Lindgren – who could show you a list as long as your arm of national and international collaborations within many different areas of musical activity – works on his home ground with three different bands. These are a Quartet Constellation, a Hip Bop Constellation (a sextet) and a Big Constellation, which is a full-size big band. In each case they are hand-picked elite groups, and they have been collected in a studio to botanise in the standard repertoire. The three groups share more or less equally the eleven titles on the CD.

And it can stated without hesitation that this is an impressive presentation in every respect, both from the professionalism of the musicianship in the ensemble work as well as the creative capacity of the soloists. Another plus are the arrangements: Some of them are the work of the leader himself and the remainder are from the pens of such as Daniel Nolgård, Christer Olofsson, Mikael Råberg, Johan Pyykö and Leif Halldén. In other words seriously creative musicians of the highest order.

It is fresh, insolent, beautiful, funny, well written and very skilfully played. Practically everyone makes fantastic solo contributions and should be named for their considerable talents. Pianist Tommy Kotter, baritone saxophonist Alberto Pinton and alto saxophonisten Johan Pyykkö are just some of them. And from beginning to end Lindgren plays brilliantly. His trumpet is rich in imagination, agile and fiery. Apart from everything else the man has a high register that Maynard Ferguson, who recently passed away, would have applauded. The CD by the way is dedicated to his memory. Lindgren’s fondness for lyrical reflection comes to the fore in his flugelhorn version of the ballad “Nature Boy”. This CD is an artistic trial of strength and a must – not only for trumpeters but also for anyone interested in hearing how tradition is reflected in the music of today. Don’t miss it! 

Johnny Olsson, Nya Vermlands Tidningen (NWT)