Det var ju Europas största hamn efter Hamburg.

#22: Release

Posted in 1, Contemplation by FREE AKTION on June 18, 2010

This blog has been documenting the production of an album. This album is now finished and is currently being mastered for release. It will be released during the last days of summer on Kalligrammofon Recordings. The album is called “Lover Man”. A tour is currently being planned to coincide with the release. Please watch this space!

http://www.kalligrammofon.com

#21: Composition (video)

Posted in Action, Contemplation by FREE AKTION on October 8, 2009

#19: Thank you.

Posted in Action, Contemplation by FREE AKTION on May 14, 2009

vsnje_lajolla1

On May 13, 2009, the V. Sjöberg New Jazz Ensemble was:

Daniel Sanchez,  Gabrielle Athayde, Frank S. Li, Burleigh Drummond, Ben Lee, Andrew Oh, Trevor White, David Hurley, Miles Anderson, Kelly Styger, Daniel Merriott, Daniel Teplitz, Manny Vega and Kicki Spalding.

Thank you so much for your individual and collective effort. This was a beautiful thing and we shall see more of that beauty in the future.

I just listened to a bootleg recording of the show and while the sound is not 100%, some excerpts should be available soon.

Love, Viktor

#15: Intermisson

Posted in Action, Contemplation by FREE AKTION on April 18, 2009

#11: San Diego

Posted in Contemplation by FREE AKTION on February 12, 2009

citycollege

I am sitting in a café that I hope was named after the first DJ Shadow single on Mo’ Wax. I’ve been walking around town all day looking for jazzy stuff and although I wasn’t massively successful, I did manage to find a few leads.

At the San Diego Public Library they have shelf dedicated to ‘Local Jazz’. It holds about 35 CD’s and I went through them all. I found two CD’s that might be relevant to this project. One of them was recorded in Carlsbad and seems completely awful. The other one is pictured below.

loverman_sd

I have yet to listen to these recordings, because the librarian was not sure whether or not I’ll be able to get a library card. I’ll be sure to bring my fiancée next time around!

Good day.

#10: Status update

Posted in Contemplation by FREE AKTION on February 4, 2009

bizbillie

So, how is this album developing? Well, I meant to share another sketch with you a few days ago but that fell through the cracks of life. It’s also somewhat difficult to share the creative process with the public while maintaining a sense of mystery. So, I’ll have to ask you to be patient. Let’s just say that the foundation was realised in Malmö a few weeks ago and in about a week I’ll be in the United States of America. That’s where the second part of the story will take place. Right now I am just telling the members of the ensemble about the ideas behind it all and I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that it’s probably going to be quite tricky to execute these ideas. But that won’t stop me!

For now I’ll just treat you to an old classic that I felt was very relevant to the experiences I had today at an academic seminar.

There ain’t nothing I ever do, or nothing I ever say…

#7: Singing his praises while stealing his phrases

Posted in Contemplation by FREE AKTION on January 20, 2009

mingus

One of the first jazz albums I ever bought on compact disc was “New Tijuana Moods” by Charles Mingus. It’s not my favorite Mingus LP and in retrospect I feel like it’s a pretty weird introduction to his music (don’t miss out on “Los Mariachis”, though!). I found it on the shelf the other day and realised that back then, around 95 or 96, Tijuana was just a spanish sounding word to me. Reading more about Mingus in recent times, mostly in Nat Hentoff’s often hilarious book “Jazz is”, the TJ/LA connection is all the more colorful and decadent. The writing on Mingus is very entertaining, mostly because of the fact that Mingus had a gift for being extremely funny and deeply profound at the same time. I thought I’d share a few classic words with you this Tuesday morning.

Good jazz is when the leader jumps on the piano, waves his arms, and yells. Fine jazz is when a tenorman lifts his foot in the air. Great jazz is when he heaves a piercing note for 32 bars and collapses on his hands and knees. A pure genius of jazz is manifested when he and the rest of the orchestra run around the room while the rhythm section grimaces and dances around their instruments.

Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.

They’re singing your praises while stealing your phrases.

Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy.

Finally, as recited on Wikipedia:

In 1955, Mingus was involved in a notorious incident while playing a club date billed as a “reunion” with Parker, Powell, and Roach. Powell, who had suffered from alcoholism and mental illness for years (potentially exacerbated by a severe police beating and electroshock treatments), had to be helped from the stage, unable to play or speak coherently. As Powell’s incapacitation became apparent, Parker stood in one spot at a microphone, chanting “Bud Powell…Bud Powell…” as if beseeching Powell’s return. Allegedly, Parker continued this incantation for several minutes after Powell’s departure, to his own amusement and Mingus’ exasperation. Mingus took another microphone and announced to the crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, please don’t associate me with any of this. This is not jazz. These people are sick.” This was Parker’s last public performance; about a week later Parker died after years of alcohol and drug abuse.

#6: Känn din historia

Posted in Contemplation by FREE AKTION on January 16, 2009

changgustavviktordang

The following is an excerpt from a school paper that I wrote with my friend Gustav Rosengren. We were studying Library and Information Science together at the time and the paper was dealing with how jazz music was represented in the music collections of Swedish libraries. It was not the most brilliant piece of text ever rushed from a printer into the hands of a professor, but we had a lot of fun. We even started a record label.

The following section still holds up though, a brief history of how jazz was introduced in Sweden. We cover the initial response up until when the music gained acceptance and and eventually was (to simplify it) divided into two scenes, where one is the traditional dixieland style jazz and the other one is nearing high brow with its percieved experimentalism and creative freedom. To briefly summarize the summary.

What this has to do with the creation of this album is still up to you to discover. I have a few ideas, but I will wait a while to share them with you. Just enjoy this moment.

Here it is in all its Swedish glory:

Det är svårt att med säkerhet bestämma när jazzmusiken introducerades i Sverige. Man ser de första tendenserna kring skiftet mellan tio- och tjugotal; bland annat förekommer begreppet ”jass” i annonsering för diverse evenemang. Ernst Rolf ackompanjeras samma år av en konstellation som går under namnet ”Svenskt jazzband”, men huruvida detta går att betrakta som den första jazzmusik som spelades in i Sverige är tveksamt.

Den nya musiken fick närmast omedelbart både anhängare och belackare. Att människor utvecklade en starkt negativ inställning till jazzen hade inte enbart sitt ursprung i ett motstånd mot musiken i sig, utan i lika stor utsträckning i mötet mellan den västerländska kulturen och de svarta musiker som framförde den. Detta främmande inslag var med stor säkerhet avgörande för jazzmusiken skulle mottas. Erik Kjellberg menar i ”Svensk jazzhistoria” att det bidrog till att en musik vars beståndsdelar kanske egentligen inte var helt obekanta för den svenska publiken kom att framstå som mycket exotisk; ”(ä)ven om det redan från början fanns åtskilligt av västerländska inslag – både historiskt och musikaliskt – i den tidiga jazz som den vita världen lärde känna, kom man att ta fasta på det ”afrikanska”, om vilket man egentligen visste föga. Kontakten med de svarta artisterna satte de egna värderingarna och utgångspunkterna på prov. Vad skulle man tycka och tänka inför mötet med dessa människor?

(more…)

#3: Det blev ett rätt normalt möte.

Posted in Contemplation by FREE AKTION on January 8, 2009

#2: Sjömansbok, helt enkelt.

Posted in Contemplation by FREE AKTION on January 8, 2009