reflection from LISTEN UP nr 1

Apr.13, 2017

ladies and gents.

I just need to let you know that we were watching and listening to  a small miracle at the GREAT jazzclub Fasching in Stockholm last night.

I kid you not. I seldom do this. Being a musician myself – i really dont wanna make a review of other musicians and artists, collegues and friends.

BUT…. yesterday at jazzclub Fasching something happened.

and I wanna make a reflection at least. to SHARE some of it with YOU!

the previliged audience could hear a quartet of seldom heard freedom play together.

the moment was there. the instant now.



Phil Minton – voice and trumpet

Lars Göran Ulander- alto and soprano sax

Elsa Bergmann – bass

Sten Öberg – drums


free jazz…. freejazz….. freed jazz…

Freed jazz with SWING! I have to say it right away: the interplay between Sten Öberg on drums and Elsa Bergman on bass… was nothing else then a sensation!!! Sten Öberg is perhaps the best hidden secret of the swedish jazz scene!  EVER! He has played w basically everyone: From Lars Gullin, Lars Lystedt, Stan Getz and others to Phil Minton and other  great improvisers! He is now approaching 80 (!!!) years young… and I have seldom heard him so active, so full of energy, so full of JOY!

The way Sten plays… the way he swings…. we were just shaking our heads yesterday. it was INSANE! no one…. no one plays like this these days. in every moment…. swinging, commenting, supporting, interacting. The sense of detail!

I saw very many musicians in the audience that looked very shocked… with a FAT smile in their face…. shaking their legs, tapping their fingers — headbanging at the tables!

the sense of detail… the sense of swing… the sense of form and structure. everyone in this 4tet has it. it was pure joy to hear.

I have to confess right away: this was one of the best live concerts I have seen the last 10 years! it was really overthetop GREAT!

Phil whistling, grunting, singing,moanin and occasionally playing the trumpet ( again!!!!). The balance in the group was spectacular. from the lyrical free blowing of Lars Göran Ulander to Mintons extreme vocal techniques to the supergroove tandem beauty of Öberg and Bergman… the balance. Giving space to each other. supporting. sharing.

The 4tet used some of the materials they recorded back in 1969, released 1999 on Blue Tower Records. simple motifs and riffs that came and went. The way that the music was flowing was really really different to most free jazz concerts I heard  before. no immediate stops… many overlaps of poetic beauty…. no manic desperation… just interaction and trust. sharing the moment together.

just spectacular!

Sten Öberg. I say Sten Öberg. I call for Sten. I vote for Sten.

this is jazz. free jazz. freed jazz.

I kid you not!


peace & all fire —–  mg


ps. and opening up for the 4tet…. another TOTALLY beautiful concert…. signe emmeluth, alto sax… she did an amazing solo set. exploring her horn in a very innovative way. micro tonal poetry in the first part that turned into a fest of jazzy atonal phrasing in a flow that hasnt been heard in a long time before at jazzclub Fasching. The opening set alone was nothing else then FANTASTIC!


what an evening!!! the extremely attentive audience in Stockholm all went home with a smile… I have seldom seen such a positive atmosphere after a concert.

Thank you Signe, Thank you Up Umeå 4tet- thank you Fasching.

and…. THANK YOU Sten Öberg!!!