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Playing With Music PWM22

What a delight this CD is. Lena Jonsson is a very accomplished fiddle player from Sweden – her music reflects influences from the U.S., Canada, across to Northern Europe, from Australia and Asia and, of course, Sweden. Before I’d listened to all of it, I went to Lena’s website to find out more about her musical talents and achievements, which are plenty. The video and sound clips are entertaining enough, crossing musical and cultural boundaries, providing much excitement in her stonking performance with the F.A.B big band at Nalen, Stockholm in 2015 and at Delsbo in 2017.

Lena and her co-musicians on this CD, Erik Ronstrom (guitar, mandola) and Kristofer ‘Krydda’ Sundstrom (kontrabass, elbas), make up a closely knitted trio and the addition of at least 11 superb supporting musicians, including the wonderful Martin Coudroy (French diatonic accordion) make this one of the best crafted ‘new traditions’ compilations I’ve heard for a long time.

A jazz-sax playing friend of mine dislikes the word ‘crossover’. Yet this is exactly what he does when he joins and adds to our traditional sessions. Jonsson’s collective ensemble could just as easily find an appreciative audience at a jazz gig, for some of her repertoire, at least.

It is difficult to single out one tune amongst the 12 tracks on the CD. The moods, bowing styles, musical references and mix make for a total delight. However, the last track, Andra Vaningen, is a gem of soulfulness and reflection.

C. John Edwards

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This album was reviewed in Issue 124 of The Living Tradition magazine.