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Strandberg Project: Progressive Construction

The Strandberg Project formed in 1995 and have released nine albums thus far including their latest titled Progressive Construction. Band leader Jan-Olof Strandberg is an exceptional bass player and has been involved in a number of projects dating all the way back to 1975. Let’s just say he has had a few years to hone his talent.

The Strandberg Project has always been about gathering special guest musicians from around the world. On this latest platter it is more of a ‘band’ effort although there are a few guests as well.

The only other music of the band I have heard is the Made In Finland (2012) disc which I liked a lot. On his latest effort Strandberg again displays the utmost creativity and prowess on the bass, in the same league as Tony Levin and Stanley Clarke. He is one of the best bass players to come out of Europe, period.

The first track is a short affair dominated by Gustavson’s keyboards. It’s the crystal clean sound and shimmering beauty of the piece that had me transfixed. Some deep low rumblings add intensity to the mix. “The Searcher” has the band in heavier form with excellent guitar riffs, squelching saxophone and funky bass lines. Add some flute trills and you have the makings of a great track. The grooving/funky bass line in “Under Construction” and a sublime organ solo makes for another strong track. “Freedom And Honor” has a more ethereal and enchanting sound. The bass solo is backed by dreamy keyboards and the tasty guitar solo further adds to the song’s charm. Heavier rock, funk and fusion makes “Wizard Samba” another favourite. The bass solo is pure joy.

Strandberg and his band are consummate musicians, bursting with creativity and panache. Progression Construction is a superb rock/fusion album that really needs to be heard. Easily recommended.

The band’s current lineup is:
Jan-Olof Strandberg (bass, keyboards)
Jartsa Karvonen (drums, percussion)
Jukka Gustavson (organ, keyboards)
Sami Virtanen (guitar, keyboards)

Guest musicians:
William Suvanne (tenor sax and flute)
Felix Zenger (beatbox on “Busy Weekend”)
Tatu Turpeinen (programming and keyboards)
Perttu Siren (claps and samples on “Let’s Get Started Live”)

Track Listing:
1. The Searchers Prelude (1:33)
2. The Searcher (3:18)
3. Under Construction (3:07)
4. Freedom And Honor (7:44)
5. Wizard Samba (4:27)
6. Busy Weekend (2:59)
7. Let’s Get Started (4:27)
8. Freedom And Honor Part II (sax) (5:10)
9. Chilin (5:00)
10. Lets Get Started (Live) (2:10)
11. Love Trusts (6:02)
12. The Searchers Departure (2:27)

Added: November 26th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1037
Language: english

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