Lennart Åberg: Partial Solar Eclipse (JAPO 60023)

Lennart Åberg
Partial Solar Eclipse

Bertil Lövgren trumpet, fluegelhorn
Ulf Adåker trumpet, fluegelhorn
Jan Kohlin trumpet, fluegelhorn
Håken Nyquist french horn, trombone, fluegelhorn
Stephen Franckevich trumpet (VI)
Lars Olofsson trombone
Sven Larsson bass trombone, tuba
Jörgen Johansson trombone (VI)
Lennart Åberg soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, alto saxophone
Ulf Andersson alto saxophone, piccolo, flute
Tommy Koverhult soprano flute, tenor flute
Erik Nilsson baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, flute
Bobo Stenson piano, electric piano
Harald Svensson synthesizer (I, IV)
Jan Tolf electric guitar (I, II, III, VI)
Palle Danielsson bass (I-V)
Stefan Brolund Fender bass (I, II, VI)
Jon Christensen drums
Leroy Lowe drums
Okay Temiz percussion (I, II, III)
Recorded September 5-9, 1977 at Metronome Studios, Stockholm
Engineer: Rune Persson, Metronome
Produced by Håken Elmquist

Swedish saxophonist Lennart Åberg assembles a force to be reckoned with for this out-of-print JAPO release. Fronting a 20-piece ensemble that includes early appearances by pianist Bobo Stenson, bassist Palle Danielsson, and drummer Jon Christensen, Partial Solar Eclipse plays out in a six-part suite of epic proportions. The trumpet-led swell of Part I gives way to a groovy bass line amid big band brilliance infused with Brazilian percussion (courtesy of Okay Temiz). A soaring solo from Åberg flirts with the clouds even as it transcends them in fiery sunset. The twinned bass action from Stefan Brolund and Danielsson impels the spirit toward Stenson’s winding finish. Out of these dense beginnings comes a mosaic of hues and textures. From the flanged ground line and backing horns of Part II, which sound like a warped version of “Baby, You’re a Rich Man,” to the oozing finality of Part VI, the album as a whole bursts with a jazz that squeals, “I made it!” Jan Tolf’s guitar work is the conclusive highlight, along with the florid and soulful tenor work of Åberg himself. Between the two we find the Motown edge of Part III, with its radiant flute and oceanic pianism, and the killer baritone work in Part IV of Erik Nilsson, who also unleashes a fabulous bass clarinet solo over the chalky backdrop of Part V.

This is an album that foregrounds itself by foiling the otherworldliness of all that came before. In so doing, it offers the glare of its namesake without the need for glasses. It’s an intense thrill ride, to be sure, but one that offers choice rewards even (if not especially) for those not tall enough to enter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s