Bazar Blå
Nordic City

This Swedish trio offers up a subtle gem of new music from their Scandinavian heritage. Johan Hedin is renowned in Scandinavia as one of the major innovators on the key fiddle called nyckelharpa. He has worked with deep traditional roots (a tribute to Eric Sahlström), semi-classical constructions (Trio Patrekatt) and new age ambiences (his solo project Angel Archipelago). On Nordic City he is joined by electric bassist Björn Meyer, a jazz musician with some serious work in the Afro-Cuban vein, and Fredrik Gille, a percussionist with a vast vocabulary in both jazz and international music.

"Just Add Water"
The music here runs the gamut. They deliver some rootsy traditional songs that can still really cut to the edge, portraying their improvising skills while maintaining a sense of history. They can also pull out all the stops and just create new music with no sense of place or time, and these are some of the best moments on the record, with Hedin pushing the limits of his instrument, propelled by some great bass work (often Meyer uses it as a guitar substitute to deliver lead lines) and Gille's tight, clever percussion mix. Occasionally they amble into muddy, ambient ramblings that have little depth or groove, but these are rare moments. Bazar Blå is an exploration of possibilities, and some of the roads they travel are promising and exciting. - Cliff Furnald

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