Album Review

Kullhammar, Jonas / Aalberg, Espen / Zetterberg, Torbjorn – “Basement Sessions Vol. 1” – [Clean Feed]

Thurston Hunger   7/9/2013   CD, Jazz

2012 release that feels like a time blast capsule into the Village
Vanguard 60’s heyday. Sweden’s Kullhammar’s sax work here completely
captivates me. From the opening baritone question phrase to the
short sputter and flutter closer the album has a great flow. Right
in the middle Den Stora Vantan is like this “Dazed and Confused”
slow smoker, Zetterberg’s base dropping morphine notes and drummer
Aalberg working with the hi-hat nearly in dry-dock and gangly gong-ly
crash cymbals at the start, but quietly works the desert into a
sandstorm at about 6 minutes in, the song almost dies at 7:22, but
the trio returns for a steady requiem. The next track moves like some
kind of secret African hi-speed bullet train. Killer bass line from
Zetterberg on that, but as stellar as the rhythm duo is, Kullhammar
is the man. Super sweet deviations around the melody, that fact that
he’s so tuneful even in full flight, doesn’t make this any less free.
Reminds me of hearing Ken Vandermark with the AALY Trio when I first
joined the station. Could connect with the pieces as songs, or get
lost in the solos. Even on the seventieth listen to “7th Son”
Kullhammar’s tenor spins my wheels. Stereo-separated recording, but
the trio is always on the same page. Proud to introduce Jonas to the
KFJC library (the dude even runs his own “Moserobie” label) and hope
fellow DJs and listeners dig him as I do. Everyone, c’mon and
get ‘hammar’d!
-Thurston Hunger / KFJC

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