By Scott Yanow | Published December 2021
Linda Fredriksson is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from Finland best known for her work with Superposition, the Ricky-Tick Big Band and the punk-jazz group the Mopo Trio. Juniper is her first album as a leader.
Fredriksson planned Juniper as a type of singer/songwriter album but played by a jazz group. The recording is all instrumental other than the use of her wordless singing on “Lempilauluni (My Loved Song).” While there is improvising around the themes, the emphasis is on her folk melodies with her saxophones taking the place of her voice. “Neon Light” has a peaceful melody played by Fredriksson on alto over a quiet keyboard. “Juniper” has a complex but accessible rhythm with a strong forward momentum. Here, as on several of the pieces, Fredriksson shows that her strongest voice is on the baritone.
“Nana–Tepalie” has her harmonizing on both saxophones via overdubbing. “Lempohilauhmi” is a light rhythmic piece in 5/4 time with interplay between her baritone and guitar, while the drone piece “Clea” wraps up the intriguing set, which serves as a solid start to Fredriksson’s solo career.
Juniper: Neon Light (And The Sky Was Trans); Juniper; Nana–Tepalle; Pinetree Song; Transit In The Softest Forest, Walking, Sad, No More Sad, Leaving; Lempilauluni; Clea. (37:37)
Personnel: Linda Fredriksson, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, guitar, piano, voice, synth; Tuomo Prattala, keyboards, piano; Minna Koivisto, synth; Mikael Saastamoinen, bass; Olavi Louhivuori, drums; Matti Bye, piano (3); Joonas Saikkonen, granulator (4).
Ordering Info: wejazzrecords.bandcamp.com