Tuesday, September 26, 2017

ANDREAS AARFLOT – Det rivna pianot (Manifest, 1978)

International relevance: ***
Swedish vocals

When speaking of progg domestically, a lot of people instantly think of the ”everyone can play” aesthetics signifying some of what was performed and released in Sweden in the 1970's. While true that a lot of progg were made with Träd, Gräs & Stenar's and Blå Tåget's expression-before-skills credo as a starting point, it's vastly unfair limiting the musical outcome of the progg era to such a simple slogan-defined modus operandi. After all, no-one could possibly argue that such technically driven bands such as Samla Mammas Manna, Fläsket Brinner and Panta Rei fit the progg bill perfectly.

Keyboard player Andreas Aarflot was one of the many – many! – members of the ever-changing Anton Swedbergs Swängjäng clan based in Luleå in the north of Sweden. Several of Swängjäng participants also appear on Aarflot's lone solo effort, a ingeniously performed album with poetic touches (as Tobias Petterson correctly points out in his book ”The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979”), striding the line between jazz fusion and symphonic rock; the appearance of fusion band Kornet's guitarist Stefan Björklund ought to give a clue about the album's characteristics.

”Det rivna pianot” is well worth hearing for genre fans, but it should be noted that while emphasizing the slick techniques of the instumentalists, singer Britt Nilsson comes to the fore on several of the tracks. Perhaps not a problem to others but I find her jazz stylings a bit overbearing and her voice a tad shrill. It should be noted though that fusion isn't quite my cup of tea; still I think that ”Det rivna pianot” would have been a more listenable – albeit more pedestrian – album had it been all instrumental.

During the 80's, Aarflot turned to soundtrack composing, before setting up his own music production company in 1994, providing music to various events including an orchestral arrangement of the Polar Music Prize vignette and music celebrating the National Day of Sweden.

Det rivna pianot (complete album)

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