Sweden’s “Jazz Group of the Year” 2012
Seval’s music is acoustic, sonically rich, emotionally uplifting, cozy and airy, playful, panoramic and passionate, rooted in jazz but doesn’t stop at jazz’s border. The quintet has a sound truly their own.
DownBeat Editor’s Picks, March 2011
Formed by the Chicago-based cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm; with Stockholm’s Sofia Jernberg, Patric Thorman, Emil Strandberg and David Stackenäs. Seval’s music is acoustic, sonically rich, emotionally uplifting, cozy and airy, playful, panoramic and passionate, rooted in jazz but doesn’t stop at jazz’s border. You’ve heard this before, we know, but this quintet has a sound truly their own.
“The members of this group are all active in the Swedish new music/improvising scene,” says Lonberg-Holm, “and this project – with its fixed melodies and more traditional harmonies – is more of an anomaly for all of us. In spite of the restrictions placed on us by the material, we find a way to re-build and invent the music differently each time.”
Lonberg-Holm’s background uniquely qualifies him to lead such an adventurous ensemble. The cellist’s principal projects have included his Valentine Trio and Lightbox Orchestra, and he has recorded solo records for the Emanem and Flying Aspidistra labels. He is also a member of the Peter Brötzmann Chicago 10tet, The Vandermark 5, Frame Quartet, Friction Brothers and Fast Citizens. Over the years Lonberg-Holm has been credited for work on dozens of jazz, rock, pop, contemporary classical and country recordings.
Although the cello is still something of a rarity in jazz-associated music, Lonberg-Holm looks beyond the accepted notions of what the instrument is capable of. As he told the Swedish magazine Spisa, “Rather than having a monolithic idea of what the cello sounds like (and thinking cellists are all of one cloth), now I think a lot of people can hear and recognize individualism on the cello like they can other, more historically common, instruments in improvised music.”
Some of the songs on i know you were initially recorded as instrumentals, although most of the lyrics were written at the same time as the music. With the addition of the ethereal voice of Sofia Jernberg – who was born in Ethiopia and grew up in Vietnam before making Stockholm her home – there was little doubt that i know you was meant to include lyrics and vocals. Fleshed out by trumpet, acoustic guitar and bass, the music exhibits a full tapestry of multiple hues and moods.
i know you is released as a blue vinyl LP including a code to download all tracks on the album as high-quality mp3s, plus bonus tracks, completely resequenced for an altogether different listen.
Musicians: Sofia Jernberg (voice), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), David Stakenas (guitar), Emil Strandberg (trumpet), Patric Thorman (bass)
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