Live Vol. 2 at Mosebacke

Berger Knutsson Spering

Berger Knutsson Spering: Live Vol. 2 at Mosebacke (Amigo AMCD 890) 2001 – featuring Bobo Stenson, piano and Matthias Ståhl, vibes

“Magnificent without a guidebook. 
Sopranosax and bassfiddle plays in unison a melody by Ornette Coleman, but the notes doesn’t coincide as in correct music. Not only that Coleman’s melody is jerky and irregular, it is played as if it was two different melodies, though it is the same. Because it is two different humans, Jonas Knutsson and Christian Spering, which has different temperaments and separate breathing.
Some consider this as a indication of carelessness. For me this kind of playing signals a freedom, for the listener too. We don’t need to control the playing against any particular style. It is a relief to hear music that don’t demand you to sit attentive and listen by a guidebook.
Some songs is played quietly. Not even Bengt Berger’s drums makes a show of taking power over the volume, but ignites the electricity. It is incredibly beautiful when the three of them whisper to one another little and still, sometimes it is cooking as hell.
Knutsson’s soprano shouts, Bobo Stenson’s piano streches out over two songs for eleven minutes, one   over almost only one harmony. Still, it shimmers of lots of completely different colours, a imperceptible, slow kaleidoscope.
This music is for me shy and magnificent.”
Ingmar Glanzelius* Dagens Nyheter
*Ingmar Glanzelius also had this album on his top ten list for 2001
“Mere end flot kunne man også kalde samarbejdet mellem de tre musikere Bengt Berger (d), Jonas Knutsson (s) og Christian Spering (b), der efterhånden har fået nærmest telpatisk karakter. De boltrer sig ubesværet ind og ud i hinandens idéer og infald, så man hele tiden som lytter forbløffes og udfordres. Som f.eks. i   inledningnummeret Ornette/Trekkspilleren, der er en sammen-spillning/- blandning af Ornette Coleman -tema og et ditto av Spering. Musikken på cd’en varierer fra eksplosioner af avantgardistisk art over standarder som Falling in Love Again til folkloristiske islæt fra Balkan ( Kamelen ) og rytmisk medrivende musik ( Jungle ). “Live at Mosebacke” er et musikalsk overflødighedshorn, der med sin autentiske live -lyd får lytteren til at føle sig til stede.”
Ole Nimand   JAZZ SPECIAL   Februar/Marts 2002
“Late last year Berger Knutsson Spering recorded two gigs at the Glenn Miller Café, subsequently these appeared earlier this year as Volume One.
Now Volume 2 comes along. Recorded at Stockholm’s Mosebacke in April, this time there was the added advantage of guest appearances from Matthias Stahl and Bobo Stenson. Guests apart, Berger Knutsson Spering are perhaps better placed than many recorded live albums because firstly they play together so much, and secondly, more significantly, each player is involved in other areas of contemporary music. Therefore a live album from these guys is a little like a diary, offering an overview of what each is up to at the time of recording.
At Mosebacke features two Ornette Coleman pieces, alongside Kurt Weil’s My Ship and Marlene Dietrich’s Falling In Love Again , with the remainder of the album given over to group compositions. Falling In Love Again is dominated by Spering’s contemplative solo which sets up a tableau for Knutsson and Berger to provide the detail. Knutsson above all is an insightful soloist, able to complement whoever happens to turn up, so that Stahl’s voicings on Orn2 provide a dramatic subtext to Knutsson’s solo. Stenson, too, on Berger’s LineSenil displays an all too-knowing familiarity, while Spering and Berger shift the tempos with profiligate ease.
HUGH GREGORY      Jazz Stage




Bengt Berger, drums
Jonas Knutsson, saxophones
Christian Spering, double bass