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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

Per Tjernberg

By Paula E. Kirman
Published June 13, 2008

Inside Information
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Although he’s certainly not a household name in North America, Per Tjernberg has worked with such jazz-funk heavies as Dr. John and Don Cherry. On this big band extravaganza, the Swedish-born composer, arranger and percussionist recruits some of his country’s top musicians, including Bobo Stenson, Magnus Lindgren, Bernt Rosengren, Mattias Ståhl, Christian Spering, Åke Eriksson, and Mats Öberg. Tjernberg plays percussion along with three other drummers, taking the tracks several steps beyond the usual big band format—in fact, the complex but grooving rhythms are incredibly tight, which is no small feat considering the number of musicians involved here. Tjernberg’s work is heavily jazz-influenced, and although this is his first album of big band compositions, it’s clear he has a firm grasp on his craft. Most of the album’s six tracks are lengthy (such as the 17-minute title track) and quite adventurous for the first-time listener nevertheless, those who appreciate contemporary jazz performed in a big band setting will likely go for Tjernberg’s innovative take.