Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Wasa Express - 1979 - Schack Matt

Wasa Express
1979 
Schack Matt


01. Schack Matt 6:41
02. Borderline 4:43
03. 1-2-3 3:25
04. Devil's Danceland 4:57
05. Midnight To Six Man 3:24
06. A Teenage Werewolf 3:54
07. Slow Down 4:01
08. Work With Me Annie 2:59
09. A Question Of Temperature 2:44
10. Wang Dang Boom Slang 4:26
11. The Cocovoodoobana Song 3:33
12. In I Dimman (Bonus Track) 6:02
13. Victor Vibratoo (Bonus Track) 9:19
14. Kom Ut I Kväll (Bonus Track) 3:52
15. Check Mate (Bonus Track) 6:38

- Bo Hallgren / keyboards
- Bo Häggström / bass
- Cary Sharaf / guitar
- Roger Holegård / vocals, guitar
- Åke Eriksson / drums



Swedish act WASA EXPRESS was founded in 1976 by Aake Eriksson (drums), Cary Sharaf el Din (guitars), Bo Häggstöm (bass) and Bosse Hallgren (keyboards). Roger Holegaard (vocals) joined the band in 1978, and participated on the last two productions by the band. 

In four active years the band recorded and released four albums in addition to being an active live unit; starting out playing a heavy form of jazz rock and evolving towards a more mainstream oriented sound towards the end. 

In 1979 the band folded, just after issued the album “Schack Matt” (In English: Check Mate). 

However, after the millenium Wasa Express reformed, and 25 years after folding a new album was released, titled “Psychedelic Jazz Trance”. One year later “Wasa Express Goes to Hollywood” was issued, and the latest news from the band is that they’re working on an album to be called “OS 2032”…

Wasa Express - 1978 - Till Attack

Wasa Express
1978
Till Attack


01. Kom Ut Ikväll
02. 7 Rooms Of Gloom
03. Jag Är Bäst
04. In I Dimman
05. Penthouse Rock
06. Shake That Boogie
07. Play On
08. Den Finska Solen
09. California Sun
10. A Teenage Werewolf
11. Surfing Matilda
12.  The Cocovoodoobana Song

- Ake Eriksson / drums
- Bo Hallgren / keyboards
- Ken Sundberg / bass
- Thomas Berglund / guitar


 By this,their 3rd album,Wasa Express was a full tilt rock'n roll band with just a sprinkle of their jazz rock fusion left.A singer/rhythm guitar player was now added. First side of the album was recorded in the studio and second new tracks that was recorded live.Wasa Express was an incredible band that I was fortunate enough to catch live on several occasions. All the musicians are excellent ,and there is an amazing drive here.At their live shows they liked to have some fun and they were fun to see.They loved The Tubes and did a lot of stuff to entertain along with their playing for an all out entertaining evening.They even had stage names like Kim Climax,Valentino Vaselino,Victor Vibratoo,Henry Coma and Ake Grotesque.All the material is their own with the exception of 2 tracks.So not much prog going on here,but great musicians playing their butts off

Wasa Express - 1978 - On With The Action

Wasa Express 
1978 
On With The Action


01. On With The Action
02. Thunderbird
03. Get Up
04. California Sun
05. Doing The Heavy Hannibal
06. Surfing Matilda
07. The Return Of Djingis
08. Moonlight Grotesk
09. Son Of A Peach
10. Doing The Kopraal
11. Memories

- Ake Eriksson / drums
- Bo Hallgren / keyboards
- Ken Sundberg / bass
- Thomas Berglund / guitar

Recorded at KMH Stockholm, January 1978


 Their second album, released in 1978 and named On with the action, show same approach to the jazzy progressive attitude from previous album but also , first lights of what to come in next years.The melodic arrangements , the one who almost go on pop side are well meted with the rest of the jazzy ones, special on track like Get up or Moonlight grotesque. An OK album, Less intersting then their first but still pleasant all the way. Quite a hard to find release , never being issued on CD like self titled and for that is very unnoticed to larger public, still good moments combined with more directly heavy prog in places atmosphere. 3 star for this one, not much to talk about this release, OK but nothing more, the best they ever done is the first one. After this release they folded and disbanded in 1980, but as well they revive few years ago and doing concerts in a big form showing that they are still alive and doing well. Great band that for some reasons never got the attention they deserve. Can be check their web page, there are some very interesting pictures, audio files and everything from the band and other bands where members were involved.

Wasa Express - 1977 - Wasa Express

Wasa Express
1977
Wasa Express


02. Son Of A Peach 4:04
03. Masseur 3:38
04. Doing The Kopraal 4:01
05. Woog-Boog 2:18
06. Cadillac 2:22
07. New Tuna 6:37
08. Brother Wet 3:19
09. Mr Curry 5:20
10. Adventure 2:06

Bass – Mr. Bo Häggström
Drums – Mr. Åke Eriksson
Guitar – Mr. Cary Sharaf El Din
Keyboards – Mr. Bo Hallgren

Recorded at Decibel Studio, Stockholm, May 1977


Wasa Express debut album came out just when what we today know as "Jazz Fusion" was born out of the ashes of what before was known as "Jazz Rock". The heavy shredding of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return To Forever gave way to the slick elevator horns of Weather Report. And in the background disco loomed large. Wasa Express defied this trend with their guitar heavy sound wich works both to their advantage and to their disadvantage. They are obviously a bunch of really talented guys. Special credit goes to the drummer "Doctor" Åke Eriksson. Before we in Sweden had Tomas Haake and Morgan Ågren there was this guy, a real beast, who was very inspired by Billy Cobham (and i mean it, the kit he used during this time was basically a carbon copy of Cobhams 1977 Tama Superstar kit!). However, it is also evident that these guys come from a Rock 'N' Roll background and not a Jazz one. The best Jazz Fusion records in my book are those with a good swing to it (my top 3: "Birds Of Fire", "One Size Fits All" and "Crac!") the two opening tracks on this album has shades of this, but after them, not so much. The Rock overshades the Jazz most of the time. "Masseur" and "Doing The Kopraal" are both catchy but they really dont go anywhere. There is also a whole bunch of weird stuff on this album. "Woog Boog" is 70's blues rock in the style of ZZ Top, "Cadillac" is a terrible and unfunny parody of the old Hep Stars hit, "Brother Wet" is Country and "Adventure" is 60's Guitar Rock like The Shadows. Combined with the Funk songs that is about seven genres of music on one album already! Most of the song are good on their own but i thought i was listening to a Jazz Fusion album? Give this a spin on Spotify if you want to. Drummers will probably also find a lot to enjoy in Åke Erikssons mastery. But if you are interested in early Swedish Jazz Fusion i recommend that you pick up something by Made In Sweden or Jonas Hellborg instead.

 WasasExpress and specialy thir first album from 1977 selftitled is one of my fav albums from jazz rock with progressive passages from the '70's. I was realy surprised to se how low rated this album is, only few reviews and very negative, quite strange to me because I found the album very well performed in swedish style with a lot to offer. Having in the band well known members from progressive rock scene from the '70's not only from Sweden, coming each one from diffrent bands as Solar Plexus or Made in Sweden and conducted by the great drumer Ake Eriksson , the one who worked across the years with many artists was easy to come with a solid album, even was little late for this kind of music style to aproach in late' 70s. I like the album a lot, great rhythmic parts, great druming, fantastic keybords , a real gem I must say, at least for me, I don't find any bad pieces or unintristing moments founded by others. Each piece is diffrent to each other, bring something quite intristing in both progressive and jazz atitude, nice polirhythmic changes, some parts are funky some are fusion, some are progressive but melted in an uniqyue swedish way. Some highlits as opening track January man, Doing the kopraal , New tuna or Brother wet show how talented this band was, but with all that after this album, ok, even their second one is ok, but after that they gone towards to a more comeprcial phase, that cost them a lot and finaly disbanded in 1980. This album remains their best effort for sure, and one as in the booklet of the remaster CD in digipack format shows a classic album from swedish progressive/ jazz rock scene, plus it has a very funny and great aswell cover art. Good musicians, good album, but very underrated. recommended

Resa - 1980 - Lycklig Mardrom

Resa
1980
Lycklig Mardrom



01. Jacinta 6:25
02. Sessan 4:05
03. Al Revez 4:15
04. Leos Händer 5:25
05. Restrött 5:20
06. Lycklig Mardröm 5:05
07. Jalu 4:15
08. Födselände 7:15


Alto Saxophone – Håkan Broström
Bass – Sergej Muchin
Drums, Percussion – Claes Wang
Guitar, Percussion [Various Rhythm Instruments] – Jan Tolf
Piano – Harald Svensson


This record is a typical euro-jazz from the seventies, very smooth and accessible. Not so much fusion as acoustic-based stuff, like canadians contrevent; sax and guitars play most of the melodies sans paroles. Check out the cover painting, it really melts my heart-- probably because it reminds me of the art that was current in the seventies so it takes me back to childhood again.

Compositions are relatively straightforward, not like the smooth (jazz) stuff that was all over radio in the early 80s, a little bit more clever and composed. This is the difference with European jazz and fusion, I which I'd known about it back when I loved jazz, it's more composed and more ingenious and dare I say it, less boring without the long and tedious sax and bass solos typical of the American style. To me the highlight is track 5, which uses some really nice Wayne Shorter type phrases on top of quite ingenious chords and repeated modulations. By the last track you may find yourself lullabyed to sleep, but the finish is quite gentle and relaxing with acoustic guitar on piano arpeggios, so try to wake up for it if you can.

Resa - 1975 - Cozy Square

Resa
1975 
Cozy Square


01. The Seventh Seal
02. Butterflies
03. Cozy Square
04. Dalecarlian Samba
05. The Jam
06. Sunday Night In The Living Room

Bass, Electric Bass – Ove Gustavsson
Drums – Claes Wang
Guitar – Jan Tolf
Keyboards – Harald Svensson


Swedish album debut album. Four musicians play instrumental jazz-rock with a guitar, fono and bass with drums. In 1980, they released their second album, Lycklig Mardröm.

Kebnekajse - 1978 - Vi Drar Vidare

Kebnekajse 
1978 
Vi Drar Vidare


01. Friheten (6:14)
02. Prelud (1:32)
03. Jakten på Vivaldi (5:28)
04. Attitydfasader (2:11)
05. Oändliga möjlighet (5:52)
06. Klubban (2:28)
07. Stigfinnaren (4:53)
08. Ur gropen I hållet (0:58)
09. Jag väver av toner (5:59)
10. Stupet (3:57)
11. 7:an (1:12)

- Mats Glenngård / vocals, guitar, violin
- Per Lejring / acoustic & electric pianos, organ, Moog, vocals
- Thomas Netzler / bass, Taurus pedals, vocals
- Pelle Holm / drums, vocals
- Hassan Bah / congas, timbales, percussion



This is a surprising album as it represents a completely new sound for Kebnekajse, for better or for worse. The group experienced some line-up changes prior to this album when, among others, guitarist and front man Kenny Håkansson left. Instead, this is a very keyboard-heavy album, something Kebnekajse never had employed before. Unfortunately, this album sounds very much of it's time (Late 70s Sweden, this includes the cover.) and sometimes quite close to mainstream music of then. Otherwise it's a bit lightweight in the vein of THE ALAN PARSON'S PROJECT".
Particularly the first track, "Friheten", sounds as it could have participated in Eurovision Song Contest of '79. "Jakten på Vivaldi", on the other hand, sounds more like the Kebnekajse I know. In general they make use of more conventional lyrics in a way new to Kebnekajse; almost half of the tracks are with vocals and it definitely contributes to the mentioned dated mainstream sound. The instrumental tracks are better but overall it's not that bad.

''Vi drar vidare'' marks the end of an era for the Swedish Folk/Prog pioneers with Kenny Håkansson leaving the band (apparently Netzler took over also the guitar duties), while for the first time keyboards are added via the coming of Per Lejring.So, this is old and new Kebnekaise in the mix, nice Scandinavian melodies with somewhat stripped-down guitars and efficient violin but also new entries with keyboard-flavored Fusion (organ, electric piano, synths) and Pop/Prog sounds, which work pretty fine.Sounds like a product of the time for the most of its part, but there was no direction to abandon their intricate musical themes.This album still contains interesting, Nordic-showered vibes and has plenty of instrumental exercises.They did hold on in my opinion.

Kebnekajse - 1977 - Elefanten

Kebnekajse
1977
Elefanten


01. Ingenting (4:41)
02. Saab-Mustang (5:33)
03. Lautluft (4:53)
04. Elefanten strävan met Nirvana (6:18)
05. Grabbarnas afton (12:16)
06. Halling från Ekstränad (6:45)

- Kenny Håkansson / guitar, whistling, vocals
- Mats Glenngård / violin, mandolin
- Thomas Netzler / bass
- Pelle Holm / drums (1)
- Pelle Ekman / drums (4), vocals
- Hassan Bah / congas, timbales, percussio


"Camel with Bongos!" - This was gonna be my review of Elefanten, Kebnekaise's excellent fifth LP but as this was my first attempt at a ProgArchives.Com Review i thought I'd better make the effort and write a proper one. This group, and Lp, has a lot going for it and places Kebnekaise squarely within the Swedish tradition, prog with complex dynamics and a folk tinge, similar to their compatriots Kaipa and Ragnarok. While a folky overall feel dominates the playing is more spirited than than say Ragnarok's first, mainly due to the strange instrumental line-up that Kebnekaise boast, which singles them out amongst the Swedish acts. Having instruments similar to Amon Duul II's, i.e voilin and a lot of percussion, but their sound is very different than the Duul. What strikes one first about the Lp is the great drumming by, and the wealth of extra percussion give it a dynamism missing in other Swedish prog. I've read that the musicians were very interested in African drumming and poly-rythmic textures, and it does seem sometimes like Osibisa have momentarily invaded the proceedings, but crucially, the percussion never seems to overwhelm the mix, but is intuitively placed. The drumming style is full of impressive little fills and trills, calling to mind Arti E Mesteri's drummer. What most impresses me about this LP though is the great guitar work by Kenny Hakansson, most known internationally for his work with Bo Hansson. Going back to my initial gambit one could say the style is very close to Camel, with Hakansson's plnaget and melodic guitar stylings recalling Snow Goose-era Latimer, as well as Dave Gilmour. The violin gives it a Mahavishnu orchestra feel at the most dramatic moments, with some funky runs on bass, and some extended percussion workouts. Overall, a great addition especially if the Swedish sound pleases you. Kebnekaise bring a little dynamism and dare I say it "funk" to the inscribed Swedish folk- prog sound. Also like most Swedish acts they also had an eye firmly directed on traditional indigenous folk musics aswell, and one of the highlights is their arrangement of a traditonal tune that finsihes Side Two. Side one's shorter tracks (there are just two on Side Two) show a great virtuosity. the best of Camel is really the nearest similarity I can think off, but Kebnekiase are so much more as well. I for one will be checking out other work by them. Originally Released on Silence label SRS 4642.

Elefanten is Kebnekajse's 5th album and represents a wonderful return to form, after the somewhat middling African/world music affair Ljus fran Afrika. Elefanten is about as close to jazz rock as Kebnekajse would ever get. It's a particularly strong outing for guitarist Kenny Håkansson, who lights it up everywhere he can. Also worth noting the strong violin play from Mats Glenngård adding the folk touch one would expect to hear on an earlier Kebnekajse album. This is a very fine work, that for whatever reason isn't as highly revered as I would expect. I think it's their best album along with their self-titled second.

Kebnekajse - 1976 - Ljus Fren Afrika

Kebnekajse
1976
Ljus Fren Afrika


01. Doberela woulo (2:47)
02. Silifé (7:14)
03. Bèlé mama (8:21)
04. Bounsé na bounsé (5:10)
05. Tigerdance/Wind (6:28)
06. Brudarnas parti (5:57)

- Kenny Håkansson / guitar, vocals
- Mats Glenngård / violin, vocals
- Thomas Netzler / bass, vocals
- Pelle Ekman / drums, vocals
- Hassan Bah / congas, timbales, congoma, vocals

With:
- Christoffer Okonkwo / soprano & tenor saxes, vocals



 Well Paul Simon had ‘Graceland’, Manfred Mann had ‘Somewhere in Afrika’, and Osibisa had – well, pretty much their entire discography. And Kebnekaise took their own stab at an African-themed album, in this case ‘Ljus från Afrika’ which seems to wander between Saharan and Afro-Caribbean folk, with a few touches of both modern rock and what sometimes come across as mildly Celtic-sounding vocals (sung in Swedish as near as I can tell). Not that there’s a whole lot of singing though, as this is still principally an instrumental band.
I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time explaining this record; suffice it to say that it is clearly for collectors-only, as casual fans of Kebnekaise and of progressive folk in general won’t likely find this to be what they likely expect from a seventies Swedish folk band. The syncopated percussion, hand drums, chanted and layered vocals, and heavy world/ethnic feel to the music are one more example of the experimental nature of this band, but are a bit outside the norm even for a Swedish prog folk band (and I say that knowing several Swedish-language folk bands who have adopted liberal use of world sounds and instruments in their music).

The first album from these guys was a fairly straight-ahead rock offering, while their second was a collection of Latin-adapted traditional folk standards, and the third in the vein of more well-known European folk music. This time they leave the musical continent completely, except for in a few places like “Bounsé na Bounsé” where some tasty violin accents the pulsating dance rhythms quite well; or on “Tigerdance/Wind” where some spacey sound effects and heavy guitar add a different dimension (more violin here as well). The most realistic-sounding tune is “Silifé”, and even here the music could be as easily mistaken from something from Cuba or the Dominican Republic as from Saharan Africa.

And the band doesn’t completely get away from their earlier rocking sound, as evidenced mostly in the closing track “Brudarnas Parti” with its heavy guitar, fat electric bass line, and sassy brass (saxophone). This is a tune that would be just as at-home on a dance floor as it is on the band’s record album.

But for the most part this sounds a bit like Osibisa tunes played by white men, which is to say the rhythms are interesting but the overall mood seems a tad bit measured. This is not authentic African music, and like Manfred Mann’s similar attempt it shows. Unlike Mann though, these guys gave things a decent and honest effort.

Kebnekajse - 1975 - III

Kebnekajse 
1975
III


01. Leksands Brudmarsch (4:17)
02. Polska Från Härjedalen (3:06)
03. Eklundapolskan (4:14)
04. S:t John (3:48)
05. Skänklåt Till Spleman (3:06)
06. Polska Från Bingsjö (3:15)
07. Balladen Om Björnbär Och Nätmelor (13:07)
08. Mariamá (3:05)

Bonus Track on 2001 CD release:
09. Gånglåt Från Dala-Järna (7:54)

- Kenny Håkansson / guitar, violin, vocals
- Ingemar Böcker / guitar, sambaros
- Mats Glenngård / guitar, fiddle, mandolin, vocals
- Pelle Lindström / fiddle, harmonica, tambourine, vocals
- Thomas Netzler / bass, drums, vocals
- Göran Lagerberg / bass, vocals
- Pelle Ekman / drums, vocals
- Hassan Bah / congas, timbales, congoma, klocka, vocals


After such a stunning second album, I was hot on the heels in finding their next album, but when I did find it, deception was at hand. Do not get me wrong this album's content is a pure and excellent folk album, but I was expecting amore of what Kebnekaise had given us on their previous album, this superb fusion of folk, psych rock and Latino beats. So past the initial deception, this album is not quite the same, but it is sticking (much) closer to trad folk, which of course makes it of a much lesser interest for the proghead.

Although we can still feel the influence of their superb preceding album, as in a few tracks, Harjedaien or Eklundapolska , the album could be seen as serious step backwards if one did not understand that Kebnekaise's goal was a return to origins. You can get a better idea of this by listening to Spelman or Bingsjo. However, the centrepiece of the album is the 13-min Bjornbar, which makes the album worthwhile even if not quite as essential as their previous effort.

Still definitely worth the occasional spin in your deck, this album is for confirmed fans of folk and by the same path of folk prog. But start with their second album or better yet try the electric mountain compilation. Further albums will be more world music-influenced, just thought I'd warn you.

Kebnekajse - 1973 - Kebnekajse

Kebnekajse
1973 
Kebnekajse


01. Rättvikarnas gånglåt - Med Turid (5:03)
02. Horgalåten (6:16)
03. Skänklåt från rättvik (8:30)
04. Barkbrödlåten (4:18)
05. Comanche Spring (16:14)

Bonus track on 2001 remaster:
06. Horgalåten (Live) (14:19)

- Kenny Håkansson / guitar
- Ingemar Böcker / guitar
- Mats Glenngård / guitar, fiddle
- Pelle Lindström / guitar, fiddle, harmonica
- Thomas Netzler / bass
- Göran Lagerberg / bass
- Pelle Ekman / drums
- Gunnar Andersson / drums
- Hassan Bah / percussion

With:
- Marit Turid Lundqvist / vocals (1)


Quickly abandoning their pure hard prog leanings of their first album, Kebnekaise drastically changed direction by heading towards Swedish folk and making a stunning album that can be considered a masterpiece of progressive folk of Continental Europe. This group alternated between nine and eleven musos at the time (nine in this album), allowing for much diversity in their given directions. The amazing thing is that none of the tracks on this album (and the next one for that matter) are original material: every single track is traditional folk adapted, reprised, deconstructed and rebuilt to give a superbly modern progressive folk.

If the opening track (you'll allow me not to write its name, because I can only butcher it) is rather traditional jig-type track, right from the second Horgalaten (there goes my integrity ;-) track, the album plunges you into a transient state where the dramatic tensions of the psych folk starts on a very gradual crescendo, slowly heading for the climax with that "oh, so subtle!" change from acoustic to electric instruments. The following Skanklat (I maybe just end up with a Swedish fatwah against me) is yet another slowly developing crescendo track with highly communicative tension (much like Fairport Convention did on their longer tracks early in their career), and slowly building up to some really orgasmic guitar lines (actually they are two collaborating like Betts and Allman) and a delicious end. The following Bradbrodslaten (I've just gotten a life insurance and my will is in the envelope below the buffet, honey ;-) is a relatively well-known theme that is obviously common to a few cultures and although quite nice, does not raise your enthusiasm quite the same way as the previous tracks.

But nothing was to prepare you for the 16-min+ Comanche Spring, the only non-trad track written by guitarist Ingmar Bocker (dying at the hand of a Viking, there is a glorious death ;-), which is simply superb, with its lengthy musical interplay between violin, guitars, the whole thing underlined by a double percussion attack, sometimes getting close to Santana or Allman Bros. The comparison to Allman is not innocent here, as in some weird kind of way they (Kebnekaise) would resemble a Swedish folky equivalent of the great Brothers Band. Even if it is fully accomplished, the track is calling for more of the same and unfortunatelmy the record is over. What a shame.

Truly one of the best examples of what folk prog has to offer, this album is a unique blend of folk, rock, psych and improvisation including Latin-beats, Kebnekaise's second album is a must hear for all progheads. To be ranked along with Algarnas Tradgard's debut album as Sweden's most obscure lost gems.

Kebnekajse - 1971 - Resa Mot Okänt Mål

Kebnekajse
1971
Resa Mot Okänt Mål


01. Tänk på livet (4:58)
02. Frestelser I stan (4:47)
03. Orientens express (2:06)
04. Resa mot okänt mål (7:14)
05. Jag älskar sommaren - solen och varma vindar (10:47)
06. Förberedelser till fest (3:33)
07. Kommunisera! (5:12)

- Kenny Håkansson / vocals, guitar, composer
- Rolf Scherrer / guitar
- Bella Linnarsson / bass
- Pelle Ekman / drums

With:
- Mats Glenngård / backing vocals
- Gunnar Andersson / backing vocals
- Pelle Lindström / backing vocals
- Thomas Netzler / backing vocals


Out of the ashes of Mecki Mark Men was borne this hard rock band that would soon change totally of musical direction after the release of their debut album. Actually the hard rock comes from the third or fourth line-up of MMM around the time of their third album, a direction fairly different from the psych/prog of their debut album. Returning to Kebnekajse, they were a mainly instrumental double guitar attack quartet, releasing in 71 their debut album Resa MOt Okan Mal (journey to anywhere) with a greatly naïve artwork.
Contrary to MMM, Kebnekasje's hard rock is a sophisticated one that sometimes oogles in Zappa's direction, and not only because of the often funny vocals that were probably belting humorous lyrics, but the music was indeed complex as well, as the sublime 7-mins+ title track suggest.. Think of a proggier early Wishbone Ash and you'll have an idea of how good these guys could get. But things had started out with the almost Skynyrd-esque Tänk På Livet, a track filled with brutal riffs. Right on its tracks, Frestelser I Shan has no less heavy duty double guitar riffs that should help Sweden gat a Florida winter if the album is played often enough. The Oriento Express is starting out as a spoof, but it veers in a full musical delire complete with zappa vocals and outstanding interplay and a finish that almost sends Freebird back on the drawing table.

Nothing really shocking but only the lengthy (around 10 minutes) Sommaren track sticks out a bit, more acoustic, but this is hardly a problem since it rocks out just as fine Sounding like a worked up and progged-out surf music Forberedelser Till Fest is an impressive and amusing stab at musical satyr, a bit like a Zappa pastiche. It's too bad the album closes on the weakest track Kommunisera.

While a completely beast than further albums, this is by all means an excellent Swedish hard rock album with the typical Swedish and Zappa-esque humour that one finds in almost all of the early 70's Swede group, be they prog or prog. Completely different and not an ounce prog folk, but no less interesting.

If you're a fan of early 70's Swedish hard rock in the likes of NEON ROSE, NOVEMBER, SOLID GROUND and TRETTIOARIGA KRIGET you will definitely love this album too. Highly recommended!

Kebnekajse would later be famous for turning traditional Swedish folk tunes into Rock music but here, on their first release, they are a Hard Rock act inspired by Cream and Mountain. This is not blues based music however.

Heta Linjen - 1971 - Wont You Step Inside

Heta Linjen 
1971
Wont You Step Inside


01. Won't You Step Inside 3:01
02. You Shall Find Your Way 8:18
03. A Ballad Of Love And Friendship 2:45
04. Crime Time 4:30
05. Big Mary And Small Susan 3:55
06. Fly High Like A Dragon Fly 4:05
07. Get Back You Fool 2:11
08. Black Eyes 3:49
09. My Little Neat ? Bitter Sweet ? Orange Love 6:37

Bass – Lucas Lindholm
Cello – Francis Cowan
Drums [Gathering The Onions] – Janne Carlsson
Organ – Berndt Egerbladh
Soprano Saxophone – Ulf Andersson
Vocals, Guitar – Bengan Karlsson

Recorded in E.M.I. Studio, Stockholm December -70 and January 71


After their uncredited back-up work for Doris on her ”Did You Give the World Some Love Today, Baby?” in 1970, Heta Linjen took a shot at an album of their own for the same label Odeon in 1971. Lead by jazz pianist Berndt Egerbladh and drummer Janne Carlsson (of Hansson & Karlsson et al), ”Won't You Step Inside” is a musically solid affair, inspired by the jazz rock of the day (not fusion) – think Blood Sweat & Tears without the horn section, or Solar Plexus with a greater late 60's emphasis. Only it would have been better with Tommy Körberg on vocals than the boring Bengan Karlsson who was a much better guitarist than singer. ”Won't You Step Inside” isn't bad but unexciting.

Feta Heta Linjen - 1971 - Med Kisa, Brass & Brudar

Feta Heta Linjen
1971
Med Kisa, Brass & Brudar


01. Förspel
02. It´s Risi´n Up Real
03. Papa Serindes
04. Mercedes Benz
05. Cry Me A River
06. You Shall Find Your Way
07. Grattis Lilla Mamma
08. Bengans Handtrall
09. Mama
10. Efterspel

Bass – Göran Lagerberg
Drums – Janne Carlsson
Guitar – Bengan Karlsson
Piano – Bernt Egerblad
Saxophone – Ulf Andersson
Trombone – Olle Holmqvist
Vocals – Bengan Karlsson, Göran Lagerberg, Håkan Sterner, Kisa Magnusson, Olle Holmqvist, Ulf Andersson

Recorded at Studio Decibel AB, October 1971.


An obscure Swedish Jazz/Prog/Horn Rock band found in 1970 and featuring drummer Janne "Loffe" Carlsson of Hansson & Karlsson fame, guitarist Bengan Karlsson, pianist Berndt Egerbladh, bassist Göran Lagerberg (member of Baltik, Egba, Kebnekaise, Bo Hansson and more recently on Fläsket Brinner), singers Hakan Sterner and Kisa Magnuson (she represented Sweden in the 1972 Eurovision contenst), trombone player Olle Holmqvist and later Egba's founder Ulf Andersson on saxes.The band released the album ''Feta Heta Linjens Supershow'' in 1971 on Odeon.

Despite recorded in studio,the band attempted to mimic the glamourous large live shows with a humurous edge, thus reminding a lot of FRANK ZAPPA's works at first place, mixed with Jazz, Psychedelic and Horn Rock arrangements along with plenty of vocal introductions.It is rumoured the band even used a revivalist preacher on several of them!Musically the albums holds similarities with BLOOD,SWEAT & TEARS on the accesible arrangements, while there is a light amount of complex jazzy Progressive Rock thrown in with unusual breaks, improvised parts and frenetic, almost kraut-ish interplays.Great sax and trombone solos are met throughout the listening along with a great rhythm section, soft piano passages and hard guitar playing at moments.The shorter tracks function as a sarcastic parody to the concept chosen under spoken parts only supported by background music.The longer ones though contain a blend of easy-listening Horn Rock along with jamming instrumental Jazz-Rock of excellent quality.

The album sounds remarkably fresh even today as a result of the innovative and personal work the band did back in 1971.Strongly recommended to a variety of music lovers: from simply Horn Rock and Jazz followers to fans of Psychedlic Rock, German Kraut and challenging Progressive Rock.

Häxmjölk - 1976 - Eskimo Heart

Häxmjölk
1976
Eskimo Heart


01. Eskimo Heat
02. The Despirator
03. Ponkie Ponkie
04. Flower Of Eternity
05. Funky Roots

Bass – Guy Roellinger
Drums, Percussion – Malando Gassama
Guitar, Percussion – Jan Tolf
Keyboards – Harald Svensson
Saxophone – Lennart Åberg


Centered around guitarist Jan Tolf (who wrote all songs for ”Eskimo Heat”) and keyboardist Harald Svensson, this could be seen as an EGBA off-shoot and a continuation of Resa. Also featuring drummer Malando Gassama, saxophonist Lennart Åberg, and bassist Guy Roellinger who appeared on Melvyn Price's ”Rhythm and Blues” in 1974. Häxmjölk's style is obvious already on beforehand: funk fusion with tight arrangements that will appeal to fans of the aforementioned bands, Kornet and Mamba

European Release

A one off Swedish fusion treat that has that similar Herbie Hancock funk fusion vibe, great keys by Harold Svensson, strong, memorable sax work from Lennart Aberg. Along with the sublime soloing going on between these two musicians, they are provided a solid and nasty funk backdrop that is easily on par with that of Harvey Mason and Paul Jackson. This is not an in your face fusion affair, but it has it's merits given the era, and especially the somewhat obscure fusion scene that was happening in Sweden in the 70's. It's quite addictive music, and is a nice compliment to your Eurofusion tastes.

Egba - 1979 - Bryter Upp!

Egba
1979
Bryter Upp!


01. Sello De Garantia 2:40
02. Bryt Upp 7:47
03. Miro 8:39
04. Själva Verket 7:19
05. Afrodito 7:37
06. Kefas 7:37

Bass – Göran Lagerberg
Drums – Peter Sundell
Keyboards – Stefan Blomquist
Saxophone, Flute – Ulf Andersson
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Synthesizer – Ulf Adåker

Recorded May 1979.


Guitar-less attempt on Jazz Fusion by Egba with new keyboardist Stefan Blomquist. Harmless, all instrumental and tropical Jazz Rock with acoustic piano, various winds, synthesizer and percussion in evidence.Compared to the previous albums, there is maybe too much Funk in here, while the absence of guitar takes away some of the nice spark of the band. Long tracks with laid-down atmospheres.Rather enjoyable but only for occasional listening.


Egba - 1978 - Amigos Latinos

Egba
1978
Amigos Latinos


01. Foxtrotsky 7:33
02. Stilleben 7:12
03. Juantorena 6:28
04. Amigos Latinos 7:51
05. Harry Blev Så Glad 5:42
06. On Don Den 3:55
07. Satisme 3:59

Congas – Ahmadu Jarr (tracks: A3, B1)
Drums, Percussion – Peter Sundell
Effects [Thunderstorm] – Ralph Lundsten (tracks: B3)
Electric Bass – Göran Lagerberg
Guitar – Bjarne Roupé
Keyboards – Harald Svensson
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute – Ulf Andersson
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Keyboards – Ulf Adåker
Vocals – Göran Lagerberg (tracks: B4)

Recorded 17-23 April 1978 at Europa Film Studios


In 1976 Ake Eriksson leaves Egba to form Wasa Express and become the drummer of Kebnekaise, he was replaced by Peter Sundell.A slight line-up overhaul continues after Sonet released the first live album of the band, the 77' ''Live in Monmarte'', with Lars Jansson quiting and Harald Svensson of Resa jumping in on keyboards along with pioneer Electronic composer Ralph Lundsten, who provided the sound effects.''Amigos latinos'', the third studio album of Egba, was released in 1978.

Egba sounded much more of a focused band in this effort, the line-up executed in a more tight way and the tracks have equal doses of jazzy lossiness, sweet Horn Rock and structured Fusion, which are cleverly flavored with the background electronics of Ralph Lundsten, providing an extra dimension to Egba's music.The production values are still reminiscent of a band heading to the 80's with some slick keyboard themes, but the general performance is extremely solid with a variety of atmospheres and good mixture of tempos and textures.From the melodic lines on sax and trumpet to the smooth, sentimental jazzy solos of Bjarne Roupe, supported by the relaxing piano of newcomer Harald Svensson and from the powerful and dense Fusion with the extended instrumental intercations to the atmospheric themes with Lundsten's electronic showering, the Swedish combo plays exceptionally at moments, full of confident instrumental work.The title of the album is a bit misleading, there is not much of a heavy Latin component in the album, but sporadic tunes like on ''Juantorena'' and especially the whole title-track with its Flamenco-styled guitar contain extra spices from Latin Fusion in a cheerful mood.The rest of the album is typical of the Jazz Fusion genre with lots of sax and trumpet in addition to some flutes and strong doses of piano and synths.

Definitely the most interesting of Egba albums to this point.Quite diverse, balancing between dramatic and fast instrumentals and more laid-back tunes, always led by solid executions.Strongly recommended.

Egba - 1977 - Live at Montmartre

Egba 
1977
Live at Montmartre


01. Temne
02. Unidad Obrera
03. Satobe
04. Binkolo
05. Apkalops
06. Senioa Delide / Trabajo Para Egba

Bass – Göran Lagerberg
Congas, Vocals – Amadu Jarr
Drums – Alan Purves
Electric Piano, Piano, Synthesizer [Moog], Clavinet – Harald Svensson
Guitar – Bjarne Roupé
Percussion – Amadu Jarr, Ulf Adåker, Ulf Andersson
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Flute – Ulf Andersson
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Ulf Adåker

Recorded "live" at the Montmartre in Copenhagen by Sweet Silence Studio on May 18 and 19, 1977.


Better than ”Jungle-Jam”, probably because it was recorded live, with EGBA feeding off the audience at the Montmartre jazz club in Copenhagen. Here they expanded their palette of styles to include reggae on ”Satobe”. Still not on par with their debut however.