Daniel Karlsson Trio: Sorry Boss

The Swedish trio show a more sanguine side of Nordic jazz, their funk-oriented material recalling not only E.S.T. but also Hancock and Zappa


In the 10 years since their debut recording Das Taxibåt, Daniel Karlsson’s trio has carved out a singular niche in contemporary jazz. Neither purely European nor American in outlook, its influences range from Hancock and The Three Sounds to E.S.T. and Zappa.

Rather like Neil Cowley or Bill Laurance, Karlsson is a gifted composer with pop sensibilities, understanding the value of a good ear-worm. With Spering and Rundqvist as wingmen the music can move in almost any direction, and the overriding sensation is usually one of fun.

Sorry Boss is the DKT’s seventh full-length album, and like most of its predecessors it was recorded at Karlsson’s home studio in the Stockholm archipelago. All of the pieces take some form of inspiration from the mundanities of daily life, and the disc’s quirky title was the stock phrase of a group of hapless workmen who created daily mayhem outside the trio’s rented Birmingham apartment during a recent UK tour.

Opening with the funky Bus Stop Story, the trio hurtle forwards at speed until Runqvist sounds the bell and the music alights somewhere altogether more tranquil. Karlsson channels both acoustic and electric Herbie on the slick title track, and you can almost hear the phrase “sorry boss” in its rueful melodic refrain. The complex interweaving lines of Heaven Or Elsewhere is perhaps the compositional highlight, though in truth there’s not a weak link anywhere.

The deep grooves of Happy Hour, the Satie-esque elegance of Pigeons On The Wire and the playful twists of Check Out are particularly strong too, while the gravitas of Karlsson’s improvised miniature Confidential Document reveals a more serious side.

Brimming with creative energy and with more melodic hooks than the average Eurovision, Sorry Boss is another triumph for Karlsson’s incomparable trio.

Bus Stop Story; Sorry Boss; Last Minute; Heaven Or Elsewhere; Happy Hour; Confidential Document; Pigeons On The Wire: Clock Out (38.26)
Karlsson (p, kyb) with Christian Spering (b); Fredrik Rundqvist (d). Runmarö, Stockholm, date unknown.
Howling Jazz!!! BAYOHOWL011