I reckon that the album and the live concert might differ quite a bit from each other, though they are in the context of the very same compositions. Perhaps there will be room for exploration and some energy bursts. Perhaps I will surprise myself. I hope to do so”.
– Linda Fredriksson
Linda Fredriksson (b. 1985), who rose to the Finnish jazz scene as a saxophonist in the fast-paced ensemble Mopo, has quickly become one of the top jazz musicians in Finland. She also has so many other musical accomplishments already during such a long time that this makes her first solo album both long-awaited and particularly fascinating. As a composer, what has Fredriksson searched for and possibly found now that an ensemble is her “own”. What side of the musician is brought to the limelight by the album Juniper (2021) which will be released at the time of the Tampere Jazz Happening? Or is Fredriksson in her own debut album still more or less the same musician, soloist, and composer as she is in the trio Mopo or in the fundamentally different quartet Superposition which received the Jazz-Emma Award last May for their debut album Superposition (2020)?
Let Linda Fredriksson herself explain: “I would say now that Juniper, which came into existence very slowly, was composed by a quiet and timid side of myself. And not necessarily the jazz musician in me, but the singer-songwriter. I have composed all the pieces on the album mainly with the guitar and also by singing.”
However, Juniper does not include much of the guitar, nor singing – unless one counts the evocative humming in the lullaby-like Lempilauluni. Similar subdued hues, lingering rhythms, and a peaceful sense of intimacy is present also in the other compositions of Juniper, which took their own time to compose and which “through ensemble playing encounter the miracle of improvised music”.
Fredriksson’s new ensemble will perform Juniper for the very first time at the Tampere Jazz Happening, and she does not want to yet exactly define what’s to come. Though there are guesses: “It is wonderful to open up my own soundscape to others and let it transform. I reckon that the album and the live concert might differ quite a bit from each other, though they are in the context of the very same compositions. Perhaps there will be room for exploration and some energy bursts. Perhaps I will surprise myself. I hope to do so”.
PHOTOS © Iiris Heikka
Linda Fredriksson – saxes
Tuomo Prättälä – keys
Mikael Saastamoinen – bass
Olavi Louhivuori – drums