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Temporal Analogues of Paradise

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Album Review

Here's another stunningly beautiful Jonas Hellborg album with another misleadingly dorky title (cf. Octave of the Holy Innocents, Ars Moriende, etc.). The dorkiness of the title is misleading because it's simply not reflected in the music, which, while decidedly virtuosic and occasionally even esoteric, is for the most part admirably grounded and accessible. With guitar hero Shawn Lane and drummer Apt. Q-258 (aka Jeff Sipe), Hellborg spins out two half-hour long improvisations (or, as they're called here, "movements"); the first is the more rockish, and also the less interesting of the two. Opening with a ringing tonic-dominant figure from Hellborg and a pummeling beat from Sipe, the piece quickly takes off into guitar-god territory as Lane lets loose — his playing is genuinely inspiring, as pretty as it is jaw-droppingly virtuosic — but on this track the trio doesn't ever hook into anything really transcendent. On the more lyrical and restrained "Second Movement," though, there is magic at work. Lane starts out in a South Asian modality and then gradually glides into a series of variations on achingly sweet diatonic themes while Hellborg supports him with solid but intricate bass figures underneath. Hellborg's solos are brilliant as well. The album is a solid success overall.


Born: 1958 in Gothenburg, Sweden

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A wild improviser, bassist Jonas Hellborg leans more toward rock than jazz. Drawing inspiration from Jimi Hendrix, Arabic music, and Lifetime, Hellborg began playing professionally in the mid-'80s. After some session work (including Pil's Album, Ginger Baker's Middle Passage, and sessions with John McLaughlin's new Mahavishnu Orchestra), he released The Word on Axiom in 1991. The album features Hellborg's acoustic bass, drums, and a string...
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Temporal Analogues of Paradise, Jonas Hellborg
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