Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Berndt Egerbladh Trio - 1964 - Schizo

Berndt Egerbladh Trio

01. Schizo 5:10
02. My One And Only Love 3:55
03. Our Delight 3:20
04. Eva 4:30
05. Sarek 4:35
06. Mr. Idrees 3:52
07. Days Of Wine And Roses 5:02
08. Monique 4:00

Bass – Björn Alke
Drums – Sten Öberg
Piano – Berndt Egerbladh

Released on Swe Disc label 1965. Recorded on December 8, 1964.

Berndt Egerbladh is a remarkable man in Swedish jazz. He is working with his music only in his spare time, while his professional occupation is the history teachers. This of economical reasons. In his home town, he is also known for his howling, as well as for his music. He is one of the best bowling- and billiard players in the northern parts of Sweden. 

Each time famous jazzsoloists like Dexter Gordon, Idrees Sulieman, Kenny Dorham, Leo Wright and Lars Guilin has visited Umeå, they have all been very surprised and enthusiastic over Berndt Egerbladhs trio. 

- Europes best rhythm section, said Leo Wright 
- I wish I could play with this trio all the time, Idrees Sulieman said with a sigh. 

When Berndt Egerbladh was going to make this record, it was a sure thing, that the drummer would be Sten Öberg. They have been playing together for many years and they automaticly follow eachothers fancy ideas. But to pick out a bass player, was more difficult. Berndt Egerbladh decided that Bjorn Alice was the man, in spite of the fact that they had never played together be-fore. When you hear the record you really understand that Alke was the right pick. He fills his place in the group perfectly. The three nmsicians are on the same "wave-length" and are following eachother with a telepathic sureness. 

Sten Öberg 26, as well as Egerbladh, plays jazz only in his spare time. He is a very sensitive and spirituell drummer. The English Magazin "Jazz Monthly" was overwelrned after hearing him on an LP with Lars Lystedt Quintet and wrote: "Sten Öberg is one of the most exciting drummers to emerge from any European country for some time". 

Björn Alke 26, is the only one in the group that supports himself on his music. Right now he is playing with Lars Guilin and has earlier played with clifferent modern Swedish groups, He has studied violin, piano and harmonics for throe years at The Academy of Music. He intends to continue his studies to become a violinpedagogue. And that he knows how to treat a bow you can hear from his fantastic solo in "Our Delight". 

Berndt Egerbledh 32, started to play 1949. Then he started to paint. Colorful and abstract. He and two of his friends had an exhibition and the critics were very enthusiastic. He is still painting, but now with notes instead of pastel crayons. - I want to create a different effect. Fine jazz - rough jazz. 

His ability to change between different musical moods is showing very much in two of his own compositions. The wonderful meditative mood in "Sarek," is in sharp contrast to the pushing and nervous "Schizo". 

Still Egerbladh is showing a decided musical profile. In his music, whether it is "Sarek" or "Schizo" there is a distinctive beauty. 

"Mr Idrees" is a bop-theme and it could easily have been written by Thelonius Monk. The remaining originals "Monique" and "Eva" is two beautiful pieces of music, which he has dedicated to his two little girls, 6 and 8 years old. 

Berndt Egerbladh says: I once read about a writer who picked up his notebook and wrote down ideas he got, while doing something else, and it did not matter where he was, at the moment, I am not exactly composing while walking on the street, butt seldom sit down to write music. I just get ideas while I am playing, while I amen a wonderful mood. 

These wonderful "moods" are kept in his compositions and in his playing as well. Listen to the fantastic beautiful "Sarek" or to the trios wonderful versions of the ballades "My one and only love" and "Days of wine and roses". I am pretty sure that you would be just as impressed by the way this group is playing as Dexter Gordon, Leo Wright and Kenny Dorham were. 

Or maybe you will be even more impressed!! 

Ronny Nygren

Schizo was, as far as I know, Berndt Egerbladh's very first album. It reached us on LP 1965 and was produced by Roland Ferneborg at the small Swedish company SweDisc, which had been founded by Ferneborg and Sture Wahlberg a few years earlier. That Dragon (Lars Westin) has now ensured that it is again available, this time on CD, with the same front, inside text - and above all - music as the original is a minor cultural thing and a welcome reminder of one of our country's most desperate pianists and composers in the jazz industry.

The multi-occupant Berndt Egerbladh (1932-2004), who was actually a daler but grew up in Umeå, we first heard as a member of the legendary Lasse Lystedt's various formations. Not only as a pianist but at least as much as a composer. In addition, he was actually also a school teacher, author and, eventually, television producer.

At Schizo, who apart from the title number certainly does not give cause for his name, Berndt surrounds with his drum-playing old Umeå friend Sten Öberg and specially called bassist Björn Alke, two musicians who fit Egerbladh's mood and musical thought as a glove. That all three were inspired by Bill Evans' "Village Vanguard trio" is obvious. Berndt thus allows his two arms carriers to participate in music creation to the greatest extent. Most often it is about intelligent conversations on equal terms. And you are surprised over time that Öberg, considering that he, like Egerbladh was never a full-time musician, plays so incredibly polished. His responsive adherence and ability to embrace is striking. Even Alke, the full-time musician in the trio, turns out to be the perfect choice for interlocutors.

Trio offers eight numbers, five by Egerbladh, one by Tadd Dameron plus two standards, "My One and Only Love" and "Days of Wine and Roses". Everything is high class, but most interesting, and the record's absolute highlight, is Berndt's very beautiful tribute to the Lapland national park Sarek, which he completely logically also named "Sarek". 

Really wonderful early work from pianist Berndt Egerbladh – a player who's gotten a lot more global attention in recent years, but who sounds especially great on this rare date from the 60s! The album's a masterful showcase for Berndt's warm, fluid approach on the keys of the piano – a style that's really quite unique for the time, and a very strong precursor to modes that wouldn't show up that strongly on other scenes until the following decade. There's a really mature sound to the record, but one that never tries to hard to be "new", nor pushes its own sense of specialness too strongly. Instead, Berndt manages to stretch out spaciously, but in an understated way – a beautiful balance of color and sound that gives the record a really timeless quality.

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