Kari Sjöstrand & Larry Turner, The Deal

The Deal (Karisma Music)

Swedish tenor and soprano saxophonist Kari Sjöstrand knows how to best use the talent in her band, including co-leader bassist Larry Turner as well as the New Orleans musicians that enrich her compositions. It’s Turner’s electric bass and the congas of Cuban-born Crescent City transplant Alexey Marti that set the sway of the opening title cut. Sjöstrand’s rich tenor moves the groove to swing then it traverses between that and a Latin tinge. Hometown guy, trumpeter Ashlin Parker blows a fine, sharp yet mellow solo with the lead taken over by trombonist Paul Robertson, known by many for his work with the Soul Rebels and various other brass brands.

It’s interesting how much Sjöstrand employs the trombonist throughout the album. He’s way up front on “Waltz for the Earth,” on which she comes in with a very soulfully delivered tenor solo. Sjöstrand is well matched in musical temperament here with trumpeter Parker. Guitarist Matthew D. White rounds out the tune with drummer Adam Everett adding significant embellishment.

Sjöstrand moves to soprano for the lively “Everyone Should Have It,” which features the happy, dancing rhythms of Marti. The saxophonist displays a bit of her more exploratory nature on the cleverly titled “Purple Snow.”

The Deal swings out on the New Orleans–inspired “On the Riverwalk” with co-leader Turner doing some strolling on his bass tastily accompanied by guitarist White. The saxophonist and the rest of the band sound like they’re enjoying the musical view and their companions.

Kulturen, Swedish Culture Magazine 2017

It's hard to flower prematurely, magnolian can get a cold and the first cowslips can be drowned by a strong hail but the lilac is careful, it arrives on time, it has learned to adjust and wait.

So also for the musician, singer and composer Kari Sjöstrand, she's used to spending time, not hiding away, choosing to take a lap with her mind, travel once again to the United States to slip on details and tone pictures.

The fourth album has come under three years and many trips to New Orleans in Louisiana and Small Word Studio, with the best musicians available - Matthew D. White, Larry Turner and Adam Everett, especially Larry Turner on bass is a ace. All compositions, which are eight tracks in total, are by Kari Sjöstrand, they are naturally influenced by her homes both in jazz, show and folk music, for a while I think of Dexter Gordon and in the other one, from a few years ago, Polska från Djupaviken. Most songs are written this year.

If the music is to be muted into a fold, if necessary, it's folk-made jazz. In this album there is a strong and determined language and appeal, sensitive, colorful and varied tone. The technical skill is stunning, but there is a special feeling and mood that is added to each track. Kari Sjöstrand is a searcher and developer of all the music she touches, she deliberately searches new paths and breaks new ground, but she has a special love for the nordic mold.

DIG JAZZ 2017:

Appealing rejuvenated 50s jazz with features of Swedish folk music

Frost Blossom (Karisma Music)

Kari Sjöstrand has been a freelance musician since the 1980s. Her main instrument is the tenor sax but she also plays all saxophones plus clarinet, flute and sometimes she even sings. Kari lives in Undersvik, a small town in the middle of Hälsingland, but she is originally from Stockholm, which she often visits for shows with different group constellations. Kari is wide in her range of music and has previously released two albums with her husband, the bassist Henrik Christensen, with songs and folk music that swings "jazz-intimately". Jazz music for children is also included in the repertoire. However, it is the creative jazz music that stands her closest and is expressed in an earlier CD with the group Talk.

In this new album, however, only the tenor is used. Recorded in New Orleans, which she has visited a number of times and fallen in love with its atmosphere. And during one day in March this year, eight of Kari's compositions were recorded there. Her tenor sax along with Matthew D. White guitar, Larry Turner bass and Adam Everett drums. The music bop / swing filled light listening with anchores in the fifties, with light rejuvenation. Her compositions have occasional features of Swedish folk music with melancholy. Especially in ballads such as the title melody Frost Blossom, where folk music has influenced the content, as well as the so intense and beautiful Just to Be, with small features of what the swedish baritone player Lars Gullin emphasized. Even the "cool" school's can be heard in The X Train, with stubbornly pushing grinding electric bass figures.

Soloistically, Kari owns the music with her tenor sax, but even guitarist White is delicious with his solo playing. In the rocking A Little Boat, as well as Hello Mr T and Molly´s Mood the American South flair can be heard. And in I Know, it sounds so beautifully old-fashioned. Bassist Turner and drummer Everett is the driving force behind everything, which even they can come to terms with in their solos. In summary, easy listening and relaxed music that appeal.

Thord Ehnberg

Dala-demokraten 23 maj 2017:

Kari Sjöstrand plays down-to-earth jazz

Frost Blossom (Karisma Music)

Kari Sjöstrand offers enjoyable, calm and sometimes a little sad and down-to-earth jazz music.

Kari Sjöstrand is a freelance musician with tenor sax as the main instrument, but she also plays other saxes as well as flute and clarinet. On this disc, however, it is the tenor sax that apply. She also writes music. This record is recorded in New Orleans with Matthew D. White on guitar, Larry Turner on electric bass and Adam Everett on drums. It is modern and a bit old-fashioned at the same time. The music feels quite traditional, but the set with electric bass and guitar as well as drums gives a different sound where the saxophone takes the lead in a special way and often plays a melody that bass and guitar follow.

Kari Sjöstrand grew up in Stockholm, but later ended up in Hälsingland and maybe that's where she picked up the blue folk tones that since then became her jazz music. It is clearly heard in the title track Frost Blossom. She also has the Swedish tradition of folk songs. She is also often in New York and there is the big city's vibrant jazz. Of course everything affects. However, the result has been good. It is enjoyable jazz, quiet jazz, sometimes a little sad. Earthy. Blue tones that float over foggy ears and that in the next song end up in a jazz basement in New York. It is interchangeable, but it is interconnected and the disc becomes a whole that is nice to hear.

Lennart Götesson