Instrumental, vocal effects
what it's worth, I had never heard of this album until very recently
when I stumbled upon it by chance. To be honest, I had never heard of
Runo Ericksson's name either until then. At least not knowingly. I
have, however, heard his trombone before – he appears on numerous
recordings by artists mostly in the jazz field, including national
treasures Jan Johansson, Monica Zetterlund and Mikael Ramel's dad
Povel Ramel. And strangely yet – he's present on one of my all-time
favourite jazz albums, George Russell's dazzling live album ”The
Essence Of George Russell”! But somehow, his name never registered in my
In my defence, Runo Ericksson played a successful hide-and-seek spending lots of time abroad, from the end of the 60's mostly in Switzerland. Prior to that, he studied under Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache and French composer, conductor and Polar Music Prize winner Pierre Boulez.
Being something of the eternal sideman, ”Omnibus” was his first – and as far as I know, his only – album as a leader. Recorded in Switzerland with Swiss, Austrian and American musicians, it was released on Swedish label Four Leaf Clover in 1980. And what an album it is!
Taking cues from both spiritual jazz, free jazz and Eastern traditions, it's an elevated work of art, dripping with mysticism without ever getting cheesy (like a lot of spiritual jazz does). It's musically sparse but emotionally dense, and although it often turns its attention inwards, it's never insular or arrogant. ”Omnibus” has a wide-open heart and welcoming arms; an intense care for the listener. It's also no stranger to surprises, as in ”Fiddeling” when a Swedish folk tune suddenly bursts through but vividly coloured with bright Indian pigments. The pieces move lightly, sometimes so lightly they seem to levitate and lit the air with the beautiful colours of the music. I'm not a fan of jazz guitar, but here, Harry Pepl's guitar smoothly adjusts to the essence of the sometimes eerie groove of the collective. This is a masterpiece of an album, unique and strangely detached from time, sometimes bordering on psychedelic in spirit but always moving in its own mysterious ways, never failing to stun, captivate, and amaze.