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Jan Lundgren: Swedish Standards

Lundgren, the brilliant young Swedish pianist, leads trios from both sides of the Atlantic and proves that he is equally impressive in the company of home boys and that of top New York players. His colleagues on New York Calling are bassist Peter Washington and drummer Billy Drummond. His repertoire includes three attractive originals and compositions by Duke Ellington, Bud Powell, Randy Weston, Sam Rivers, Sergio Mihanovich and Hubert Laws. He also plays two superb Swedish pieces, Lars Gullin’s “Danny’s Dream” and the traditional “Vrmlandsvisan (Dear Old Stockholm).” He performs his one unaccompanied chorus of “Dear Old Stockholm” in its unadulterated form; that is, without the interludes inserted by Miles Davis in the 1950s and slavishly copied by jazz players ever since. How refreshing. In the introduction to Mihanovich’s “Sometime Ago,” Lundgren evokes Ellington’s “Reflections in D.” His interpretation of Rivers’ “Beatrice” is exquisite.

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