Big Band Splash - Another Apple (2010)

Big Band Splash
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What do you get when you combine traditional, Americanized blues and soul edged with modern flavor and interpreted through some of Sweden's most accomplished vocalists and musicians? If you don't know, now you know, because that's what you get an earful of when you encounter Another Apple.

What do you get when you combine traditional, Americanized blues and soul edged with modern flavor and interpreted through some of Sweden's most accomplished vocalists and musicians? If you don't know, now you know, because that's what you get an earful of when you encounter Another Apple.

A bold and brassy collection of songs and instrumentals led by saxophonist, arranger and producer, Jakob Norgren, the collection is deliciously diverse, combining delicate tones of a flute buttressed by brassy horns and a smattering of Auto-Tune in the catchy "East of the Funk" and honing in on the paralyzing pain of a lovelorn rebound victim in "You Used Me Baby" (sung liltingly by Sven Zetterberg).  "Walk a Mile In My Shoes," sung by John Nemeth, is its rollicking opening number, soon followed by Greta Bondesson's "I Had a Fight With Love," which smacks of a 70s-era Betty Wright jam in its mix of knowledge and naiveté. The spirited big band stylings of "That's What Happens" takes the edge off its resolute "told you so" message (delivered by Marino Valle). "Esso" is a sax-anchored instrumental soaked in traditional down-home stateside blues, and "Valerie" is (unintentionally?) comical in its detour from a typical "I miss you" type of song to its wagging a finger at the behavior that eased her out of his life to begin with: "Did you have to go to jail? Put your house up out for sale/did you get a good lawyer?"

Far from traditional, but never boring, Another Apple is part big band, part jazz and steeped in unmistakable elements of R&B. If you're open-minded and ready to leave the expected American approach behind for some Swedish-flavored soul, Big Band Splash's Another Apple delivers.

By Melody Charles

 

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