Jan Allan

For quite a number of years we four musicians have worked side by side in many musical productions involving the Swedish Radio Big Band, the Swedish Radio Jazz Group, Bohuslän Big Band as well as situations featuring smaller chamber-like groups. All of us have also taken part in many productions involving international names such as Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Dizzie Gillespie, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis etc. Our faithful companion Rune is a natural choice as fellow-musician, where qualities of melodic and harmonic finesse as well as humour are very tangible ingredients. We met for the first time in 1957 at my stag party and decided then to try and get together to play in the future. Naturally, since then there have been "one or two" occasions - as any well-informed reader will be aware of! On many of these occasions thoughts and ideas have been discussed to produce something of our own where we ourselves can dicide upon the framework, and where we can give priority to the delicate art of improvisation which lies nearest our hearts and which is at the core of our musical philosophy. It was nearly 15 years ago that Erik and I met to play some old 78-rpm records and to listen to what Erik had chosen as his selection of favourites from the time when he was growing up in Örnsköldsvik in Northern Sweden. It turned out that all of the records I had chosen from the same period when I was growing up in Sundbyberg were exactly the same ones! I met Yasuhito, who is the youngster in the group, for the first time in Gothenburg. I was quite taken aback by the combination of energy and musicality in his playing, especially his solos. It is a difficult balancing-act for an experienced soloist who, instead of tending to precipitate or dominate the development of the music, can also succeed in providing the foundation for harmony and melody to inspire contributions from the other members of the group. It is also particularly demanding, as in this case, to play without a drummer, whose presence ... if missed ... can only be created in the minds of the listeners. This leaves scope for the imagination of everyone in the group to communicate with each other collectively, playing in a "time" which has not been "dictated", either to the musicians or the listeners.

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