By Herb Boyd | Published February 2019
Saxophonist Hanna Paulsberg has recorded a powerful statement, dedicating Daughter Of The Sun to Pharaoh Hatshepsut, of ancient Egypt, and to all strong women who have fought for gender parity.
Surprisingly, though, “Little Big Saxophone” doesn’t belong to Paulsberg, though she wrote all of the tunes apart from “Serianna.” Trumpeter Magnus Broo’s lilting horn commands most of the sonic space here with Paulsberg tacking on edgy passages at its conclusion. “Hemulen Tar Ferie” clearly is a nod to Paulsberg’s Nordic roots, and she presents an impressionistic narrative, her horn conjuring a world of fairies and folklore alongside wonderful counterpoint from pianist Oscar Grönberg. There’s a methodical, meditative quality here that first appears on the title track and then on “Scent Of Soil,” when Broo works his way through a beautifully orchestrated arrangement.
The group’s singular inventions combine artfully on “Bouncing With Flower Buds,” as drummer Hans Hulbækmo leads the way, his cymbal work in perfect coordination with Broo’s sizzling slashes and Paulsberg’s references to James Carter’s burps, bleeps, bops and bursts.
According to Egyptologists, Hatshepsut was one of the most successful rulers of ancient Egypt, many women having emulated her regality and resourcefulness since. Now, Paulsberg has put a musical cap on that glorious legacy. But the rich tonality of her horn, so much in common with a number of renowned predecessors, is a tribute that reaches far beyond Hatshepsut.
Daughter Of The Sun: Scent Of Soil; Little Big Saxophone; Hemulen Tar Ferie; Serianna; Daughter Of The Sun; Bouncing With Flower Buds. (41:06)
Personnel: Hanna Paulsberg, tenor saxophone; Magnus Broo, trumpet; Trygve Fiske, bass; Hans Hulbækmo, drums; Oscar Grönberg, piano.