Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Pure and Beautiful Sound of the Lars Jansson Trio

Lars Jansson is a Swedish piano player with whom we should all be more acquainted. His long line of discs go back over two decades and feature a number of artists and combinations, but he is best known for his piano trio music of the past decade. On "In Search of Lost Time" (Prophone 2011) he has written 14 very beautiful and accessible originals featuring his piano and Christian Sperling on bass and Anders Kjellberg on drums.

Born in 1951, in his early teens he was captivated by the music of  Miles Davis, Ben Webster, and Mose Allison on discs given to him by a relative. He started dental school around 1970, but quickly switched to music and enrolled at the Göteborg College of Music, where he had an opportunity to join jam sessions with local jazz players, and to experience the works of some seminal pianists of the period including Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Paul Bley, Bill Evans, Lennie Tristano, Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea. After school he played with the Arild Andersen Quartet and various Norwegian musicians including Knut Riisnaes and Jan Garbarek, and then with Equinox, Red Mitchell,  and many other groups, both Swedish and Danish. The Lars Jansson Trio is, and has long been, one of the longest standing and appreciated jazz groups in Sweden.  
The title of the disc is a translation of Proust's masterpiece "A la Recherche du Temps Perdu" and parallels its theme of experiencing time from different perspectives and of looking back into your life. The tunes on this disc represent 25 years of music compositions by Jonsson, but all have a similar beauty in the purity of the melodic lines and meditative quality of the compositions and quietude of the interplay among the three musicians. While it is not a recording that includes any standards or familiar songs, it is so accessible and purely beautiful that it should appeal to those looking for the former as well as to those looking for a creative approach to the trio using fresh sounds and melodies.

This is just an outstanding disc that washes over you with its tranquility and beauty, and cannot help but brighten anyone's day.

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