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Samuel Hallkvist - 2015 - "Variety of Live"

(43:00, Boogie Post Recordings)


TRACK LIST:                   

1. Greyer Melange 5:44
2. Chord Horror Vacui 4:52
3. Mirror Graden 2:25
4. Klopatec 4:47
5. Heru Ra-Ha / Road 7:49
6. Music for the Maraca Triplet 6:44
7. In Transfer 2:23
8. Spooky Country 2:55
9. Cluck Old Hen 5:21


Samuel Hallkvist - guitars, devices, programming
Pat Mastelotto - traps and buttons
Qarin Wikstrom - vocals, keyboards
Guy Pratt - bass
Stefan Pasborg - drums

Richard Barbieri - keyboards, synthesizers, programming
Mocca - vocals
Yazz Ahmed - trumpet
Denys Baptiste - saxophone
Yukiko Taniguchi - vocals

Prolusion. Swedish born and Denmark based composer and musician Samuel HALLKVIST has appeared on albums released dating back to 2001, and from 2010 and onwards he has been an active solo artist in his own right as well. So far with three studio albums and one live album to his name, and with a fourth studio production being launched right about now. "Variety of Live" is his sole live album, and was released through fledgling Swedish label Boogie Post Recordings in 2015.

Analysis. One important fact to keep in mind when you listen to this album is that it isn't a pure live album as such. It revolves around live recordings, but the material has been appended in the studio afterwards. For many, this album would actually qualify as a studio production due to that. As far as the music is concerned, the foundations are undeniably inside the jazz realm somewhere. The rhythms as well as the use of the saxophone when it appears tends to stay within the realms of jazz more often than not, up to and complete with some sections that comes across as improvisational, a select few non-harmony based variations with more of a free form approach at that too, and the band does play around with dissonance and noise on occasion as well. Never in an abrasive manner however, but rather in a gentle and relaxed one. While the jazz appears to be a foundation, the album as a whole does spread it's wings to fly elsewhere too, and rather frequently at that. The percussion and especially the mainly non-verbal, atmospheric laden distant vocals comes with something of an ethnic and world music orientation, in the latter department also including a few vocal examples closer to chanting than regular vocals at that. Keyboards and synthesizers also adds an ambient touch to the proceedings, and on one select creation they are used in a more vibrant manner as well to create music that sounds like a jazzier take on the music of Ozric Tentacles. In a few other songs the band also incorporate some clear connections with rock music, and then with an emphasis on the blues core of that genre. All in all a rather eclectic album, and while it merits to be archived under jazz in my book, there's certainly more than enough going on here that should make this album interesting for progressive rock fans as well. Besides the musicians involved that is, as a few of those comes with a reputation that makes anything they participate in of interest to some progressive rock fans anyway.

Conclusion. Samuel Hallkvist comes across as quite the inventive and creative creator and performer of music on this album, and the collective input of his band and the guest musicians does make an album that is greater than the sum of it's parts. An eclectic and experimental production, and as is usually the case for such productions not everything shines as bright as the rest. Still, those with an interest in the progressive sides of both progressive rock and jazz should find this album to be an interesting one to get more familiar with.

Progmessor: October 22, 2017
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Samuel Hallkvist

Boogie Post Recordings


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