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De Gladas Kapell: Spelar Nilsson

Finnish record label Lion Music releases their second highly anticipated classic style re-issue of 2005 with Spelar Nilsson by a quartet called De Gladas Kapell. This album was originally recorded in one session back in May of 1978 by some of the finest musicians available in Sweden, and this is the first time it has become available on CD. Coste Apetrea was also featured prominently on Lion's first re-issue as the 2nd guitarist playing on the excellent JTB album by Finnish guitarist Jukka Tolonen. Although touted by Lion as being "one of the true landmarks of Swedish progressive rock", the music on Spelar Nilsson actually owes a lot more to jazz than it does to rock.

The disc is musically diverse, and there are fine examples of light and shade everywhere as the musicians flex their muscles when necessary on the more firery uptempo numbers, and yet are equally at home displaying their musical subtleness with more of an introspective feeling on the quieter, more laid back pieces. Right from the opening moments of the six and a half minute "Havanna Boogie", where Apetrea and pianist Stefan Nilsson briefly lock horns and play the same lines in unison, before Coste tears into an absolutely ripping solo, you immediately get the feeling that this disc will have it's fair share of musical fireworks and instances of dynamic musical interplay. As mentioned above Apetrea played second fiddle to Tolonen on the JTB CD, where he did get a few opportunities to show off his chops, but on this release he doesn't share the guitar duties and you get to see just what a diverse and talented player he really is. Whether he's blazing away and demonstrating his fusion infused style on the electric or choosing his notes ever so carefully acoustically, he pulls it all off with the greatest of ease, and along with the absolutely brilliant and fluid piano playing of Nilsson it makes for one hell of a musical ride. The rhythm section as well should not be overlooked and is propelled by Georg Wadenius' fat, funky bass lines and Peter Sundell's fantastic power on the drums. There is an unmistakable live feel and spontaneity that comes through big time in the playing and the overall sound of the CD is excellent, like the music could have been recorded yesterday. Lion deserves big kudos for doing such a magnificent job, finally releasing this musical gem and one has to wonder why such a great collection of songs such as these were never made available before. This disc has the ability to both satisfy the most curious and casual jazz fan's appetite and at the same time it will have even the highest schooled musicians nodding their heads in appreciation and amazement of the skills of these 4 wonderfully talented individuals. This release was worth waiting for and definitely proves the old saying of better late than never was right.

Track Listing
1) Havanna Boogie
2) Kelt Visan
3) Samballad
4) De Gladas Kapell
5) Morgonlåt
6) Rio déja vu
7) Lösnäsor åt konstaplarna (bonus track)
8) Nyspolat (bonus track)

Added: January 11th 2006
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Lion Music Homepage
Hits: 3116
Language: english

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De Gladas Kapell: Spelar Nilsson
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-01-11 07:45:24
My Score:

Here's an interesting piece of jazz-fusion history, Spelar Nilsson, recorded in the late 70's by the Swedish band De Gladas Kapell. Surprised to see this little gem on Lion Music, a label that's mostly noted for shred guitar albums and progressive metal, but if they are going to go a bit in this direction I'm all for it. Can't tell too much about the band as the whole booklet is in Swedish, but the music is 8 tracks of ripping and majestic fusion. Fans of Return to Forever and The Elektric Band will crap their pants when they hear this, as the compositions and musical fire is very much reminiscant of Chick Corea's previous and current band. The keyboard work (piano and synths) is fiery yet gorgeous, the guitar work tasty, and the bass and drums melodic yet intricate. Songs like "Havanna Boogie", "Samballad", and "Rio Deja Vu" sound like leftovers from RTF albums like Romantic Warrior, No Mystery and Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, with it's Latin-meets-classical-meets-jazz-meets rock firepower. The guitar and keyboard duels are really explosive throughout, but it's the melodies that really standout and stick in your head.

Should you be one of those fans who hungers for a reunion between Corea, Clarke, DiMeola, and White, give a listen to this little rarity from the late 70's.

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