Fredrik Lundin & Odense Jazz Orchestra: It Takes All Kinds To Make A World

The Danish tenor player's latest was inspired by the 1970s, 'when music was fearlessly free, constantly curious and creatively chaotic'


The Danish saxophonist and flautist, composer and bandleader Fredrik Lundin (born 1963) has an unusually interesting CV. An excellent post-Trane and Shorter player of both tempered and wide-ranging authority, he has composed music for all sort of contexts and run various distinctive bands of his own. He has also worked with such stellar figures as Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Marilyn Mazur, Pierre Dørge, Jon Balke and Django Bates. With elective affinities which range from Leadbelly to Lars Gullin and beyond, Lundin is a major generative voice in the genre-crossing Tone of Voice Orchestra, whose excellent eponymous release I reviewed in June this year.

It Takes All Kinds To Make A World is a further special achievement from Lundin. It finds him in the beautifully honed and ever-alert company of the Odense Jazz Orchestra, led by conductor and artistic director Torben Sminge.

As Lundin’s impressionistic sleeve-note reveals, his six compositions here constitute a suite conceived in response to the many dangers currently threatening life on planet Earth. “I have clothed my message in the guise of music” says Lundin, “inspired by the music of the seventies, a point in time when music was fearlessly free, constantly curious and creatively chaotic.”

While Lundin’s diversely cast work on (chiefly) mezzo soprano sax and tenor shines, there are also striking contributions from various members of the OJO, all detailed in the comprehensive sleeve information. Happily, Tomasz Dabrowski (t) – whose superb Tomasz Dabrowki And The Individual Beings I reviewed in April 2022 – solos on a couple of numbers. And if there is free-fired energy (sample Desperate Times and the ecologically inflected title track) the suite is also notable for some exquisitely voiced reflective passages (hear the brooding mystery and shifting dynamics of the rhythmically laid-back Gormenghast).

Walk With Me, My Friend is a standout, a late-summer, sun-dappled poem of gently sprung lyricism. Glossolalia cooks over a swinging bass line and Now Or Never gets deep, funky and punchy in ever-building Miles-touched grooves of irresistible appeal. It may not save the planet, but It Takes All Kinds To Make A World sure as hell is some special honey to the soul.

Desperate Times, Desperate Pleasures; Gormenghast; Walk With Me, My Friend; Glossolalia; Now Or Never; It Takes All Kinds To Make A World (41.07)
Lundin (ts, mss); Odense JO: Torben Sminge (conductor & artistic director); Morten Øberg, Guy Moscoso, Finne Henriksen, Hans Mydtskov, Ole Visby (reeds); Ari Bragi Karason, Tomasz Dabrowski, Jesper Riis, Jakob Holdensen, Hans Christian Ilskob Erbs, Stefan Ringgive, Mikkel Aagaard, Anders Ringaard Andersen, John Kristensen (brass, with A R Andersen also acn); Makiko Hirabayashi (p, elp, syn); Morten Nordal (elg, g syn), Kasper Tagel (b); Chano Olskaer (d). Peak Productions, Denmark, 29 November – 3 December 2021.
April Records APR 106 CD