Just This, the latest album from Lars Jansson Trio due out October 19th, is an album of immense talent and musical excess from three of Scandinavia’s most renowned jazz musicians.
Lars Jansson is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and educator. He was born in 1951, and grew up in Örebro, Sweden, where he was bored by his lessons at the community music school. In his early teens, a relative lent him records with Miles Davis, Ben Webster, and Mose Allison, creating a solid foundation for his musical education. Jansson’s career has been in full flourish since 1970, and he has for the main part been focusing on the trio format. Lars Jansson Trio has long been one of the most renowned jazz groups in his native Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia as well. In 1998, he was nominated for the Danish Jazzpar Prize and he became the first jazz professor in Aarhus, Denmark. He was honored in Denmark with a Grammy in 2001 for ”Best International Album,” with the album Hope.
Lars Jansson Trio are now ready to release their new album Just This. Assisted by Thomas Fonnesbæk on bass and Paul Svanberg on drums, Jansson has created a body of work that deals with various themes of life, and pays tribute to some of Jansson’s heroes. Fonnesbæk is a well-respected bassist in his own right, playing with the likes of Justin Kauflin and Alex Riel, and Svanberg, who is Jansson’s son, is a widely used drummer on the Danish jazz scene. The album, 13 tracks in total, comes by as a beautiful and diverse collection of tunes that display the collective talents of three very gifted and experienced musicians.
The title track Just This, as well as the track No Purpose, deal with how we are all defined by our culture and upbringing. To experience and accept all that happens in the ”flow” that is our life is no easy matter. It takes practice and an open mind to ignore expectations and pre-conceived attitudes, and completely immerse oneself in the present as it unfolds. Waltz for Bill is a tribute to Bill Evans, originally recorded in 2003, and now presented in a trio format. Receiving is inspired by the art of being able to receive, inspired by Jansson previous compositions Giving-Receiving and Giving. Intimate Talk is the conversation between guru and disciple, but it can also be the kind of low-key, intimate and magical conversation one has with another person. Closing track To Have Or To Be, a title borrowed from the book by Erich Fromm, is about finding the balance between our career and material life and the spiritual aspect of our lives, and the dilemmas related to this, concluding an album that is equally focused on life and great musicianship.
"Jazz music is one of the few human activities that succeeds in combining responsibility for the collective with individual freedom. The great challenge for every musician is to find his personal sound, to express his true self and at the same time find his role in the group. In our search for self knowledge, finding meaning in our lives and to full fill our destiny, jazz music is a fantastic art form to help us on that path." Lars Jansson