Jan Lundgren - Potsdamer Platz

Review Jan Lundgren - Potsdamer Platz

It has been twenty years since Jan Lundgren, who was then thirty, recorded his first album Swedish Standards and released it on the label "Sittel". For ten years, the pianist's albums have been published on the Label Act, including the current album Potsdamer Platz, for which he collaborates with Jukka Perko, alto and soprano saxophone, Dan Berglund, bass and drummer Morten Lund. Educated as a classical pianist, and active for years for famous jazz greats, Jan Berglund is now himself an established figure of the European jazz scene. The quartet's saxophonist, Jukka Perko, also originally comes from the classical shore, while the bassist Dan Berglund, who is mainly known as a member of EST, is an original jazzman as well as the Danish drummer Morten Lund.

The name of the album refers to the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, a place that was separated with the entire city by the Berlin Wall for nearly thirty years in two parts, before the wall in this square following the events of 9 November 1989 had been broken down in favor of a provisional border crossing. It owes its name not to this historical event, but to the fact that the album was recorded in the Hansastudios not far from Potsdamer Platz. However, according to Jan Lindgren, the album’s name is not quite free from a deeper significance for the music recorded on it: "If the Potsdamer Platz stands for the new Germany in a certain way, it stands here as a title also for something positive, for the positive force, music always radiates for me; for a breakthrough, for something touching."

In fact, the music on Potsdamer Platz radiates something tremendously positive, indeed something constructive. Here, a classical jazz quartet is playing powerfully, but always sensitive and extremely alert, but always appropriately playful. The fact that this quartet has joined relatively spontaneously brings freshness to the highly professional interplay, which in this quality is only known by ensembles, which have already been together for a long time. It would be lamentable if the four had only been together for this album. However, on Potsdamer Platz from title to title, there is an increasing joy of listening in view of the successful compositions and the skillful improvisations, which do not lose their attraction at second listening.

The album Potsdamer Platz does not want to provoke or turn the jazz world upside down. On the contrary, Potsdamer Platz transports, in the best Scandinavian tradition, quite unspectacularly perfectly chamber-musically designed jazz, which however is quietly blazing but under the surface. The excellent sound technique of the download gives uninterrupted insights into the structure of the compositions of Jan Lundgren as well as in their ringing out and transformation, and it conveys to the listener impressively that between the members of the Lundgren Quartet obviously, there is a deep agreement that music must be created out of a common spirit if it shall be more than pure entertainment.

Jan Lundgren, piano
Jukka Perko, alto & soprano saxophone
Dan Berglund, bass
Morten Lund, drums

Jan Lundgren - Potsdamer Platz

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