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Album Review

High-latitude smarty pants (including members of Sweden's Absolute Folk Ensemble) take traditional Scandinavian tunes originally played on violins and rearrange them for saxes only, spawning a unique concept of almost-funk. Weird plodding paces and stodgy reeds power songs so far outside the realm of cool, they sneak in through the back door with enough stubborn gumption to stand in for swing. "Mats Berglund's Polska" gropes its way in lurching spirals, the ever-changing title cut flaunts muscular section work, while the rippling "Thaw Tune" meddles with a jazzy bagpipe sound. The song title "A New Simple Polska or Song Tribute to the Beginner's Mind" neatly sums up the septet's theoretical approach to whimsy.

Riff-Ola, The Swedish Sax Septet
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