Sol Sol: Almost All Things Considered

Swedish saxophone, guitar, bass and drums produce a maelstrom of rock-infused free-jazz that on occasion reminds of Roy Wood and the Move

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Saxophonist Elin Forkelid and guitarist David Stakenas have written the tracks on this follow-up to 2022’s What Year Is It? Drummer Anna Lund and bassist Mauritz Agnas complete the quartet for what is a lively and sometimes challenging set of compositions.

As the release notes state, more is more, so the listener can expect around 50 minutes of free jazz, distorted guitars and thunderous baritone sax. Disparate styles inspired by musicians as diverse as Carla Bley, Joni Mitchell, Ornette Coleman and Bill Frisell fuse into hard-edged music, muscular solos on sax and guitar driven by propulsive drumming.

The opener, Elena, flowers like something from a Coltrane album, with a pulse of sound that builds and develops into something hypnotic and compelling. Perhaps this is no surprise as Forkelid performs regularly with her own band Elin Forkelid Plays For Trane – a quintet that plays spirited interpretations of Coltrane’s work.

Elsewhere, guitarist Bill Frisell’s fondness for heavy delay can be heard influencing the Stakenas compositions If Not, Marbles and Almost All Things Considered. Lighter moments of gentle melody sneak in from time to time, but overall the album is drenched in a sax and guitar assault, driven by the spirit of free jazz and the desire to run with the moment to see where it goes next.

The blanket of sound from baritone sax reaches a high point on the finale – Hello Again, Paul – which is so over the top it sounds like Roy Wood and the Move have invaded the studio from somewhere back in the early 1970s.

Discography
Elena; If Not, Marbles; First Days Of Spring; Almost All Things Considered; Can I Have The Bill, Please?; Hello Again, Paul (48.36)
Elin Forkelid (ts, as, bar); David Stackenas (g); Mauritz Agnas (b); Anna Lund (d). Stockholm, 24-25 August 2023.
Sail Cabin Records SCRD003