Recorded at Nilento Studio, Gothenburg, Sweden, April/August/October 2008.
Additional recordings at Tia Dia Studio, Molnlycke, Sweden.
Mixed and mastered at Nilento Studio, Gothenburg, Sweden, October 2008.
When a jazz improviser comes out with an album titled Tarantella, one cannot help but wonder if he is offering a fusion of jazz and southern Italian folk (the tarantella, after all, originated in Taranto, a coastal city in southeastern Italy, and became popular all over Campania, Calabria, and Sicily). But Tarantella, despite what its title implies, doesn't have a strong Italian influence; there are no jazz arrangements of traditional Italian folk songs on this self-produced post-bop outing. Nonetheless, Tarantella does have its share of European influences, ranging from Euro-classical chamber music to traditional Scandinavian folk - and Swedish bassist/cellist Lars Danielsson incorporates all of those influences without being overly abstract or academic. In fact, the songs (most of which Danielsson wrote or co-wrote) are relatively accessible. That is not to say that contemplative, evocative offerings such as "Ballerina," "Melody on Wood," "The Madonna," and "Across the Sun" are simplistic; these songs have a lot of depth, but at the same time, they aren't terribly difficult to absorb - and Danielsson achieves this healthy balance of intellect and accessibility with a solid team that also includes trumpeter Mathias Eick, pianist Leszek Mozdzer, guitarist John Parricelli, and drummer / percussionist Eric Harland. Emotionally, Danielsson and his colleagues have a lot to say on this 58-minute CD, which was recorded in 2008 in Gothenburg, Sweden (a city that is known for its abundance of death metal bands but has many other types of music as well). Danielsson has often been described as a melodic player, and he lives up that reputation on the excellent Tarantella.
All Music Guide
========= from the cover ==========
Over the past few years Swedish bassist, cellist, composer and arranger Lars Danielsson has matured into one of the most important voices in European jazz. He has played alongside such international stars as Michael Brecker and Randy Brecker, John Scofield, and Charles Lloyd, led his own quartet, worked as musical producer for Cecilie Norby, Viktoria Tolstoy and the Danish Radio Orchestra, and, most importantly, recorded three CDs under his own name for ACT. These recordings reveal Danielsson's unmistakeable originality, his music's amazing openness, and his own wide-ranging creativity.
On his ACT debut Libera Me, Danielsson proved to be a master of orchestral jazz; on the follow-up Melange Bleu he surprised his audience with a modern, scrupulously applied electronic framework for his expansive, richly textured compositions; and on the duo album Pasodoble he and his Polish peer, pianist Leszek Mozdzer, executed a beautiful and breathtaking manifesto of melody and harmony that mediated between classical and jazz.
All of these previous concepts form the basis of Danielsson's new CD, Tarantella. The assembled international line-up is ideal for pieces that, with their controlled sense of arching suspense, seem so classically oriented on the one hand, and on the other are wide-open for improvisation and intimate musical dialogue. Those who know Mathias Eick can confirm that his lyrical trumpet playing, saturated with its bold sense of space, is a perfect accompaniment. More surprising is how John Parricelli, who is best known for his fusion-sound, and who has worked with the likes of Colin Towns and Django Bates, obtains such delicately shaded sounds on the guitar. And it's even more amazing as to how the young drummer Eric Harland - sideman with Charles Lloyd, McCoy Tyner, and also with ACT on two Rigmor Gustafsson productions - has traded in the hard-edged, energy-loaded US school of drumming in favour of a more laid-back, melodically innovative percussion style.
Tarantella is more multi-layered than Danielsson's previous projects. Whether they are atmospheric, suspended musical images full of movement, spherical hymns reminiscent of Swedish church music, or chamber jazz - ultra-modern, fast miniatures - Danielsson has found his own fascinating musical expression for it all and in so doing has affirmed his place as a crucially important composer and musician.