Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Sven-Ake Johansson/Axel Dorner/Andrea Neumann: Barcelona Series

Alongside Han Bennink, the Swedish-born, Berlin-based drummer Sven-Ake Johansson was one of the pioneers of European free improvisation. He performed on several early releases by saxophonist Peter Brotzmann, including the latter’s self-released debut, For Adolphe Sax, and the seminal Machine Gun (where he stoked the blast furnace alongside Bennink); and Johansson’s solo album Schlingerland/Dynamische Schwingungen (recently reissued by Atavistic) has attained classic status as well. But while Bennink has become well known to American listeners-due to frequent stateside appearances as well as his inimitable theatrical antics-Johansson remains largely unknown.

This is particularly unfortunate in light of the excellent albums Johansson has been turning out recently on the Hatology label, home to many a deserving maverick artist. Barcelona Series unites the drummer with two prominent representatives from the current crop of Berlin’s free improvisers: the spellbinding trumpeter Axel Dorner (who also appeared on Six Little Pieces for Quintet, Johansson’s archaeological dig into the roots of free jazz, issued in 2000) and “pianoharpist” Andrea Neumann, whose piano has been reduced to its bare skeleton, sans keys and pedals. The three first performed together as a trio in Barcelona, hence the title of this subsequent studio recording.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published