Fredrik Lundin & Odense Jazz Orchestra: It takes everything to make a world


The Danish saxophonist and flautist, composer and conductor Fredrik Lundin (b. 1963) has a particularly interesting CV. An excellent post-Trane and Shorter performer, both tempered and authoritative, he composed music for all sorts of settings and led various distinctive bands himself. He has also worked with personalities such as Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Marilyn Mazur, Pierre Dørge, Jon Balke and Django Bates. With elective affinities that range from Leadbelly to Lars Gullin and beyond, Lundin is a major generative voice in the crossover Tone of Voice Orchestra genres, including the excellent self-titled album I reviewed in June this year.

It takes everything to make a world is another special achievement by Lundin. He finds it in the beautifully rehearsed and ever-alert company of the Odense Jazz Orchestra, led by conductor and artistic director Torben Sminge.

As Lundin’s impressionistic cover reveals, his six compositions here form a sequel designed in response to the many dangers currently threatening life on planet Earth. “I dressed my message in the guise of music,” Lundin says, “inspired by the music of the 70s, a time when music was fearlessly free, constantly curious and creatively chaotic.”

While Lundin’s diverse work on (mostly) mezzo soprano sax and tenor shines, there are also striking contributions from various OJO members, all detailed in the full cover art information. Fortunately, Tomasz Dabrowski

Walk With Me, My Friend is a remarkable, sun-dappled, late-summer poem of gently springing lyricism. Glossolalia cooks on a swinging bass line and Now Or Never goes deep, funky and punchy in ever more irresistible grooves touched by Miles. It may not save the planet, but It takes everything to make a world sure that hell is a special honey for the soul.

Desperate times, desperate pleasures; Gormenghast; Walk with me, my friend; Glossolalia; Now or never; It takes everything to make a world (41.07)
Monday (ts, mss); Odense JO: Torben Sminge (conductor and 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 AR Andersen also acn); Makiko Hirabayashi (p, elp, syn); Morten Nordal (elg, g syn), Kasper Tagel (b); Chano Olskaer (d). Peak Productions, Denmark, November 29 – December 3, 2021.
April Records APR 106 CD

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Henry R. Wright