It was through the influence of Landgren and Svensson’s former teacher Bengt-Arne Wallin, who recorded the landmark album “Old Folklore In Swedish Modern” back in 1962 (ACT 9254-2), that Svensson and Landgren were inspired to make a duo album centered around folk songs. In August 1997 both went into the studio and with only trombone and piano recorded Swedish Folk Modern (ACT 9257-2). Their improvised treatments of the classic songs of the folk culture not only impressed the public; it brought praise from the press.
The baritone saxophone is seldom heard outside brass sections of big bands. As a solo instrument or as the only brass instrument in a band it is a real rarity and there is only one female baritone saxophonist who truly masters her instrument – Céline Bonacina. You might be surprised to see the petite Frenchwoman pick up an instrument that is almost the same size as her but, when she starts playing, the mésalliance becomes a symbiosis and the sound flows out without effort.
It's a damn shame that Leucocyte is the final studio album by the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. Svensson died in a tragic diving accident in June of 2008, shortly after this set was finished. More than any other recording issued by this excellent band, Leucocyte captures the art of music making at the moment of conception; it was recorded as live-in-the-studio improvisation over two days in an Australian studio. It was completely finished, post-production and all, with a release date before Svensson's death. The words "post-production" mean plenty when it comes to E.S.T.'s music. The trio often recorded and added sonic effects to their structured, composed pieces. It underscored their hip sophistication and accessibility. It made them a hit with both jazz fans and younger audiences who listen to Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and even heavy metal more than jazz.
Propaganda vocalist and latter day solo artist Claudia Brücken (A Secret Wish, Love: and a million other things…) teamed up in 1987 with electronic pioneer Thomas Leer (The Bridge, The Scale of Ten) to create Act: a one-off pop cabaret par excellence. Music so cutting edge, the sessions were documented by Tomorrow's World. And songs that crossed the chasm from mid-Eighties acts of sophistication to late-Eighties acts of dancefloor hedonism. Artwork includes previously unseen photographs of the duo by Patrick Lichfield.
Styx was one of the titans of the hugely popular AOR movement – along with Boston, Foreigner, Journey, and REO Speedwagon – embraced by the U.S. mainstream in the late '70s and early '80s. The end of the Chicago-based band's peak period coincided with one of the most ambitious and notorious projects of the time, the 1983 concept album Kilroy Was Here…