Friday, June 24, 2011

The Next Esbjörn?

It had been a few months since I'd surfed the new releases section of eMusic; since they'd added a whole bunch of big labels, I figured that the sheer volume of new stuff would be overwhelming and it would take hours upon hours to get through even a single week. But it's summer, and I decided to jump in and see what was new.

As always, a lot of the stuff I discover on eMusic is music from foreign artists who don't get a lot of press over here--bands like Brandt Brauer Frick, Böhm-Halle-Sell and solo artists such as Rainer Tempel come to mind. I'll admit that, sometimes, I'll preview an artist with a Euro-sounding name more readily than, say, a Joe Smith, and a lot of times that pays off.

It was this curiosity that led me to preview a recording by someone named Jacob Karlzon. The album wss called Big 5, and it's a very engaging quintet effort full of compositions that jump right out of the speakers at you, so I snagged it almost immediately. A bit more exploring led me to the pianist's trio work; the title track from the Jacob Karlzon 3's newest recording, The Big Picture can be found here.

Remind you of anybody? Maybe it's the highly melodic, Metheny-ish vibe of the whole thing, or the doubling of the bass with the piano's left hand at certain times, but it sounded to me as if Esbjörn Svensson had more than a little influence on his younger fellow Swede. And look--Karlzon even has a shaved head!

I'm always amazed by the wonderful jazz that's being produced outside of the United States, and I'll do my little bit here (as well as on Twitter and Facebook) to publicize it as best I can. Thanks, eMusic, for making this stuff readily accessible over here.

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