Jens Comén & Niklas Roswall Kverrestad-Mörsil
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Jens Comén & Niklas Roswall
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cd cover Jens Comén and Niklas Roswall are best known for their work with the Swedish groups Hoven Droven and Ranarim, but this collaboration sounds far from what they produce with their colleagues in the electric folk rock scene. Kverrestad - Mörsil is an acoustic CD, both crystal clear and intimate. You can hear the clicks from the nyckelharpa and the quiet breaths from Jens Comén behind the saxophones. A twosome of reeds and nyckelharpa is still rare, but an increasing number of young musicians are beginning to use the saxophone in folk music. The soft, caressing tone of the saxophone (soprano and baritone) blends well with the more direct and silvery timbre of the nyckelharpa. Apart from using the common chromatic harpa, Roswall also plays the older, more primitive and ragged moraharpa on a few tracks.

The musicians grew up in the provinces of Jämtland and Skåne. Most of the tunes are taken from either old recordings or transcriptions. When played by the duo, they are given a new life and character. Most tunes are polskas in 3/4 beat. The polska has been danced in large parts of Sweden, although the tunes from Skåne are very different from those from Coméns home region. The main difference lies in the way the three beats are stressed.

The playing of Comén and Roswall is in one sense perfect; there are dynamics, flow, playfulness and creative interplay. Maybe it is a question of taste, but I miss the intensity, fire and raggedness that their fiddle-playing idols had. Music doesn't have to be polished to shine. - Staffan Jonsson

CD available from cdRoots

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