Light & Shade
Linda Pettersson is regarded by many as one of the most interesting singers to have emerged in Sweden during the last few years. Her ability to interpret a wide range of styles in music written by many diversified composers seems to be unlimited. The range, accuracy and attractive timbre of her voice are all qualities perfectly suited to the selections on this CD. For many years Ewan Svensson has been one of Sweden's foremost jazz guitarists and he has sofar released 11 albums as a leader. He is also a prolific composer and his music is significant for it's strong melodic and harmonic content. In 2004 he added to his excellent trio the renowned French pianist Antoine Herve´ and Linda Pettersson. The group's repertoire consists of Ewan's compositions, to which English lyrics have been written by Dave Castle. The result is a constellation that has been taking audiences by storm not only in Sweden but also in Japan, France and Scotland. Their first CD together: Light & Shade, truly justifies it's title by presenting 15 tracks containing a spectrum of different moods, from intimate ballads to dynamic latin-beat numbers and straight-ahead jazz. Some rewievs: Light & Shade EWAN SVENSSON QUARTET FEAT. LINDA PETTERSSON Nocturne/ Ewan Svensson's collaboration with Linda Pettersson and the French pianist Antoine Herve has resulted in the wonderful album 'Light & Shade', in which Dave Castle's English lyrics elevate the lyrical quality of the guitarist's compositions, all selected from six of his albums recorded 1990-2000. Beautiful ballads and soft Latin rhythms make up easy-to-listen-to but original jazz. The new versions are for the most part a little shorter in length and start directly after a brief intro, as with the oldest tune 'Different'. Linda has an even warmer sound in her voice than before without losing any of her glass-clear precision. Her phrasing alone lifts 'Like It Was Before' and the charming huskiness in the tones of 'No Words' make me think of a young Monica Zetterlund. I like it when Ewan plays acoustic guitar in 'Circles In The Sand' and 'Stranger In The Mirror'. As a soloist he shines most in the bluesy 'Old-Hat' and 'The Sunflower', which like the title tune is absolutely magical, a slow jazz waltz that comes from the album, 'Figures'. Magnus Gran dutifully tones down his busy, swinging drumming but stokes the fire under Antoine Herve's piano solos in 'Too Much Sun' and 'Forty Different Words For Snow'. The funky shuffle 'Makin' It Up', the fast 'More To Explore' and the boppish 'The Blues Are Never Far Away' don't sound quite as natural, but work anyway. Dave Castle has already written lyrics to a further dozen-or-so of Ewan's tunes and I hope that this six-star review will result in another album containing more information. With that, we hopefully will not have to search the web site for details of the original titles and lyrics. Hallands Nyheter Linda Pettersson, Ewan Svensson Light&Shade Since her highly-praised debut CD 'Who Are You?' (Touche Music) Linda Pettersson has now also a follow-up CD in the company of completely new colleagues, guitarist Ewan Svensson, French pianist Antoine Herve, bassist Yasuhito Mori and drummer Magnus Gran. Light & Shade is the title and also one of the 15 songs on the CD. All are compositions from the pen of Ewan Svensson with English lyrics written by saxophonist Dave Castle, both of whom have contributed excellent and inspired work. I had the pleasure of being present when Linda and Ewan performed this programme live at Jazzklubb Fasching last Spring and since then have looked forward eagerly to this recording, which truly lives up to expectations. This CD is, in fact, in every respect superb. Few singers today have Linda's ability to bring a lyric to life and in addition have such a relaxed and natural rhythmic sense. Linda's fellow-musicians also deserve much praise. Ewan Svensson is undoubtedly one of Sweden's most worthy guitarists and Antoine Herve is a most interesting new name to me. The rhythm section duo of Yauhito Mori and Magnus Gran work perfectly together, which is distinctly evident by the recording engineered by sound-master Åke Linton. Light & Shade has become an often-played favourite and it can only be hoped that it receives a fair chance to reach the ears of the listening public. * * * * Gunnar Holmberg, DIG music magazine VOCAL/GUITAR-JAZZ The music is propelled forward so feather-light, with an almost aesthetic grace. Linda Pettersson often uses the higher register with her agile and precise voice. Ewan Svensson glides over the scales on the guitar while Antoine Herve gives the music a solid foundation with his piano and the rhythm section of drummer Magnus Gran and bassist Yasuhito Mori can be more felt than heard. The music on Light & Shade could perhaps be described in this way, but sometimes a heavier expression also breaks through. Ewan Svensson plays with a light touch but his technique also holds a reserved explosivity, as though something more is searching for it's form under the elegant flow. As a parallell Linda Pettersson's sensitive singing also breaks out into heavier blues and bebop figures resulting in the music creating it's own individuality by way of contrasts and changes. It is beautiful and full of substance, with body and spirit at the same time. LIRA music magasine.