On the newest CD recording by Swedish pianist Mathias Landaeus, Fringe People
, one may find sounds that would transport a listener back to the late 1960’s/early 1970’s. A time when recordings such as Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew
, Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon
, and the early Joe Zawinul/Wayne shorter collaborations with the group Weather Report were dominating the jazz scene. Certainly, the title track "Fringe People," and the opening track "Cosmic Rock" with Landaeus’ aggressive Fender Rhodes piano sound bring to mind the shift to fusion that jazz took some thirty-five years ago. Fusion is not the only sound from the past that one may hear on Fringe People
. There are definitely strains of Vince Guraraldi’s sound tracks to the many seasonal Peanuts
cartoon features of the past. On the track "Marianne’s Waltz" one can almost see Linus and Lucy dancing rather than Marianne.
None of the above should be considered negative criticism. Landaeus is a very competent pianist and profound composer who has absorbed and mastered the technique and artistry of musicians who have come before and has incorporated that sound into his own unique way of music making. Of the eight cuts on Fringe People
all are originals by Landaeus, and his group creates music that also goes well beyond the already described examples of 1970’s jazz. He is supported by excellent sidemen, in particular saxophonist Karl-Martin Almqvist, whose mellow tenor and soprano are put to excellent use. He demonstrates a particular sensitive side on the tunes "Skywalker," and the beautiful ballad "Wolfie." Fringe People
is a very enjoyable recording. It is full of excellent musicianship, and finely crafted composition. The recording should be accessible to most any jazz listener and also would make a most welcome addition to any jazz aficionado’s CD collection.