The former-E.S.T. drummer continues for his third album in much the same direction as the previous two, but with each release the dark clouds which hung over him following the sudden and untimely death of pianist Esbjörn Svensson appear to break up a little more. In fact there are clear shafts of sunlight penetrating the canopy of Parachute.
The band is once again Öström on drums and percussion, Andreas Hourdakis on various guitars, Daniel Karlsson on piano and keyboards, and Thobias Gabrielson on bass and keyboards.
Things start off strongly with Dog On The Beach, the characteristic and unmistakeable Öström groove firmly in place with minmalistic melodic phrases circling above it, and they get stronger still with Junas, which breaks down into a drum solo in the second half, another catchy riff revolving over the top. If things get a little poppy and bland on Walkabout Bug, they get back on track for the title tune which has the kind of dancing, anthemic quality that the Pat Metheny Group did so well and which E.S.T. inherited.
The Shore Of The Unsure has a “holding” sense about it which, I guess, reflects its title. It is permanently in a state of nearly tipping into some kind of resolution but it never quite gets there until, with nearly three minutes gone, trumpeter Mathias Eick enters and plays a solo, travelling, searching, in hope, yet still with that melancholic tinge to the optimism. Mathias does that mixture of restrained but growing delight better than almost anyone. He keeps things unresolved until finally he drops into an extended melodic improvisation that suggests a more settled and surer place, and that is where the music fades out.
The closer, All The Remaining Days, is the most relaxed, laid back and quietly cheerful that Magnus and his band have sounded to date. It’s a lovely way to round the album off.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable listen – an album that is easy to live with and will, I suspect, reveal all kinds of fresh nuances in the weeks and months to come.
- The Magnus Öström band will be playing at Ronnie Scott’s in London on Tuesday 26 April. More HERE.
Categories: CD review