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Wild Garden by Josefine Cronholm and IBIS

On her debut recording as a solo artist, Cronholm and her group Ibis are featured throughout. This is a simple yet haunting recording with much depth and variation.

The title track, Wild Garden is the type of song you know you have heard before. Andersson’s bass with swirling cymbal from Diers, is the perfect backdrop to introduce Cronholm’s lovely voice. One gets a sense that she is reaching for something. Maybe a past memory. Her folk like qualities ring effective throughout. As the group builds a haunting landscape as the song develops, the song takes on an even more eerie yet beautiful feeling. A gem of piece.

Sundh’s simplistic piano intro lays the foundation for the spirit of My Room. Cronholm’s effective use of soft timbrel, and gentle phrasing welcomes each phrase. A beautiful story told in the first person, it is a deeply personal description of a room filled with fantasies, possibilities, and hope. Agerskov’s rich trumpet adds to the mystique that prevails throughout. Light percussion from Diers celebrates the simplicity and sheer beauty of Cronholm’s voice and her wonderful band.

Take a scary Desert Walk with Ibis, and all at once you are on a journey not set but rather cautious. It’s amazing how Ibis can evoke a sense of insecurity, fear, and fright through their careful selection of notes, and use of effective drumming. Again we find Agerskov pensive trumpet, and Dier’s train like drumming adding to the mood. Dissonant piano welcomes uncertainty. questions are asked, hearts race. Cronholm’s trademark is her ability to create an aural scene and exploring it to the fullest. Brilliant.

Few words are used in The Farewell, but we know what is going on. A couple embraced in the surroundings. Cronholm’s light and simple delivery make this selection all the more poignant.

A union of voice and instruments makes this one of the most enjoyable recordings in recent memory. Cronholm is all about the journey. Each selection is unique. A story told. a story played. The band always part of the adventure. The perfect backdrop to Cronholm’s story telling. A lost art? I think not. Repeated listening will reveal more of the beauty and grace that permeates this recording. A landscape of aural pleasure, this is one adventure not to be missed.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Josefine Cronholm and IBIS
  • CD Title: Wild Garden
  • Genre: Folk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Stunt Records
  • Tracks: In Your Wild Garden, My Room, Don’t Let Me Wait, Just In Time, Don’t Weep, Free, Dreamchild, Desert Walk, Life Beyond, The Farewell
  • Musicians: Josefine Cronholm (Vocals/ African Harp), Flemming Agerskov (Trumpet/ Flugelhorn), Henrik Sundh (Piano), Thommy Andersson (Double Bass), Lisbeth Diers (Percussion/ Drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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