Susanna Lindeborg, piano and Keyboards; Ove Johansson, tenor saxophone and EWI; Jimmi Roger Pederson, bass; David Sundby, drums
Mwendo Dawa, a Swedish quartet which has been together since the late seventies and has recorded sixteen albums altogether, has just released their third live recording, their first being a 1979 Live at Montreux recording.
Susanna Lindeborg and Ove Johansson form the core of the group, churning out original compositions and weaving beautiful solos around a thickly layered rhythmic backdrop laid by Pederson and Sundby.
Lindberg and Johansson could easily be compared to the ECM-associated northern-European pairing of Jan Garbareck and Bobo Stenson, and they certainly have been influenced by the two. But who hasn't? Comparing them to other musicians proves nothing. Lindeborg and Johansson, are not merely grand practitioners of the Jazz legacy ñthey are creative musicians with their own sounds, their own
styles, and their own beauty. They can be touching and subtle at their most delicate, wild and free at their most energetic. The group has, for a long time, incorporated a heavy emphasis on rhythmic energy, as well as electronic synthesizers (both Lindeborg and Johansson), which gives it a distinctly modern sound combined with strictly acoustic musicians.
Whether this group has chosen to avoid the commercial track or has been somehow overlooked is a mystery, but anyone interested in the question of whether or not Jazz is still a dynamic form should pick up their new recording.
by Stefan Zeniuk
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, October 2002 issue, all rights reserved