If you enjoy well-played and dynamic music-making with a live improv edge, lots of stylistic elbowroom and openness yet with roots - this band is for you: (read reviews below)
"Anders Nilsson's AORTA"
is essentially a band from Malmo, Sweden. It's led by Anders who has been living in New York City since 2000. This highly interesting, dynamic and captivating 4-piece band consists of
Mattias Carlson-saxophones with or without effects
The music is all evolving around original sketches composed mainly by the guitar player; taken, handled, used & abused by the organic 4.
"Blood" is the first record under his own name. Nilsson says of it: "The members of this band have all played together in various contexts for many years, so there´s a rich language, a strong musical identity and a creative artistic attitude among the four of us. This makes for our music being strong and dynamic with room for lots of stilistic crossings and interesting musical ideas with all kinds of overtones. We improvise a lot together and employ our whole spectrum when we make music."
The album was recorded in Sweden in September 2003 by David Carlsson. Produced by Nilsson/Carlsson.
About Anders Nilsson:
Anders Nilsson grew up in Eslöv, Sweden and early on joined a rockband. Following Jazz studies at Malmö Academy Of Music and various work as a musician, mainly in the Malmö area ( with "Notone" and others ) he moved to New York City in the year 2000. In New York he is associated with the free jazz scene and other subscenes, involved in bands including Sabir Mateen, Ken Filiano, Michael Evans, Ras Moshe, Daniel Carter, Matt Lavelle, Angelblood, " In The Ozone " - a duo with drummer Tom Bruno, and others. He has also composed film music, collaborated with dancers and is a member of Sebastian Schunke´s Orchestra(Berlin).
Blood (reviewed in All About Jazz, December issue 2004):
By Ty Cumbie
Out of Sweden comes new jazz sounds from guitarist Anders Nilsson's group Aorta, a group that glances briefly back at the late '60s and '70s, then forges ahead, showing some possible directions for the music to go if it is to remain vital. Aorta probably won't be doing a week at the Vanguard any time soon, but if there's any music that can even remotely be called jazz and has any chance of capturing the ears of teens and twenty-somethings (the holy grail in music sales), this is it.
While there are whiffs of Tony Williams' Lifetime and '70s work by John McLaughlin and, of course, Miles Davis, Aorta has its own fingerprint, thanks in large part to Nilsson's twisting compositions. The guitar and horn work is aggressively virtuosic and the rhythm section demonically driving.
Aorta revives, refreshes and continues several areas of jazz, some still kicking and others moribund. Electric jazz has attempted comebacks of late. Aorta plows ahead as if the glory days never passed. Some of Nilsson's compositions seem to show an awareness of the work of contemporary innovators like Henry Threadgill.
Finally, Aorta makes daring forays into freely improvised music. Blood is garage jazz at a high level.
Reviewed by Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery:
ANDERS NILSSON'S AORTA - Blood (Kopasetic Productions 003/Sweden) This features a Swedish quartet with Anders on electric guitar & voice, Mattias Carlson on tenor sax & electric alto sax, David Carlsson on electric bass and Peter Nilsson on drums. Although this quartet is based in Sweden, Anders does live here much of the time and has played with Ras Moshe on occasion. The music is strong, tight and well played jazz/rock, something I really haven't heard much of recently. The rhythm team plays with power and finesse, nice to hear some hot Jack Bruce like lines from a bass player. Anders uses that wah-wah and distortion box tastefully without overdoing it, often playing intricate lines tightly with Mattias' sly sax. I am reminded often of some of the better jazz/rock of the seventies, before the term fusion was thrown around, before all of those high-speed calisthenics ruined that music. I rarely hear anyone using that wah-wah pedal nowadays, so this is indeed a refreshing thing and Anders does make his guitar talk. Both Anders and Mattias work especially well together weaving lines around one another, sometimes in unison, sometimes snarling as they swim the electric current/rapids. I dig the slow and sensuous "Reminders" which features some swell tenor sax from Mattias, long and most expressive solos from both the sax and guitar. "Hint House" has near violent, slightly funky rocking theme that works well to get under our skin, yet quiets down in sections. Since the word "fusion" tends to bother certain jazz snobs, I'll refrain from using it here, but I got to admit that this is some of the best jazz/rock I've heard in quite a while. - BLG (Downtown Music Gallery)