The Göta River Jazzmen sent along a copy of their 4th CD titled The Other Side Of Town
. We recently had the opportunity of reviewing their marvelous 5th issue, Swedish Hymns
I’ll state immediately that this Swedish group is rapidly becoming one of my favorite European bands. The Göta River Jazzmen seem to be perfectly comfortable with the New Orleans technique and can translate most tunes to the style. Bunk Johnson once said that if there is a melody, it can be played in the Crescent City style. They prove my point by a most acceptable translation of My Happiness
, a tune popularized by Connie Francis in the late fifties. The song actually dates back to 1948 when it became a minor hit for Ella Fitzgerald and others. Most tunes on this CD will be familiar to the bulk of jazz listeners including compositions by Fletcher Henderson, Kid Ory, Benny Moten and Sam Morgan.
The septet features a fine frontline of trumpeter Esbjörn Olsson, trombonist Lars Ehnström and a flexible reedman, Sverker Nyström. Nyström flows beautifully between clarinet and alto sax. His work on In My Heart, There’s a Yearning
is as tasteful as you’ll ever hear. He can play it HOT too! As always, pianist Ingemar Wagerman leads a great rhythm section and justifies the praise heaped upon him by reviewers. This is a hell of a good band.