Andreas Öberg | Six String Evolution – [Resonance Records, 2010] – Review
Perhaps “exemplary” is the word that describes this extraordinary young guitar player from Stockholm, Sweden named Andreas Öberg and his amazing sophomore album titled “Six String Evolution” on Resonance Records.
“Six String Evolution” was ingeniously produced from the able minds of two musical surgeons George Klabin and Joe Donofrio. At the helm of this project, this duo brilliantly executes their craft to develop and feature an impressive cast of who’s who among the heavyweights in jazz including pianist Dave Kikoski, bassist John Patitucci, Leon Nash plays drums along with gifted singer/saxophonist Darmon Meader (New York Voices), vocalist/percussion Filo Machado, bassist Decebal Badila, cimbalom player Marius Preda and finally vibraharpist John Beasley.
As this musical journey unfolds you’ll find guitarist Andreas Öberg’s voice clothed with the tapestry of traditional jazz. Somehow, he manages to encompass an affluent language in jazz that’s expressive in dimension which allows his sound to pour graciously through the lens of what I call modern jazz.
Öberg opens the set with a generous helping of a Latin Jazz gem originally scored by the remarkable Poncho Sanchez titled “Papa Gato.” Andreas is armed and ready to take the groove in flight with his cool and deliberate guitar style anchored in the Benson-ist mode surrounded with incessant scats by Öberg accents this piece proves to be an ideal beginning for his fresh yet erudite voicing’s headed for wider global acceptance.
Next up, Öberg steps out and swings with authority on “Madame Grenouille” a blues influenced tune by pianist Geoff Keezer. Although born in the late seventies, Andreas stands firmly among the giants in jazz to redirect in tempo the daunting character of “We’ll Be Together Again.” To my surprise, this piece is arranged by another splendid keyboardist named John Beasley. The inspiring interaction amongst the players gel with perseverance on this lavishly arranged gem. Meanwhile, Öberg declares victory as a soloist by diving into the sea of melodic intimacy without hesitation!
The next tune “Archiblad’s Dance” is described as being Eastern European flavored in context. Öberg and his ensemble bring on the heat to this song by infusing their elaborate yet breathtaking interplay as co-inhibitors of quality musicianship exhibited here make this jewel a bright and shining star!
“From the Bottom of My Heart” originally penned by the incomparable Stevie Wonder finds a spot in rotation within this jammed packed collection of songs. Yeah, this gem is seriously sweet!
The vernacular rhythms of the vivacious “Meu Bom Velho” (My Dear Sir) surfaces to expand their inner strength and complexity as players is absolute brilliance on behalf of the guitarist Andreas Öberg and company. Meanwhile, “Brother to Brother” follows its footsteps and rings with enthusiasm. Written by the talented Gino Vanelli, “Brother” serves as an integral component which inevitably assures its spot in this inviting collection of great music!
Öberg carefully equips his talented cast with variety of songs and noteworthy arrangements here to entice one’s listening experience. Case in point, the seductive Latin inspired vocal piece “Amar a Maria” features the gifted Filo Machado confirms why music like this is worth waiting for.
The timeless jazz classic “Compared to What?,” fits well in the scheme of it all … well I’m sure you’ve heard various interpretations but you haven’t met Öberg’s rendition. The revised tempo of this classic is infected with the ingredients of his prior guitar influences including Ritenour, Ford, Henderson, Stern and Gamble were instrumental in attracting him to play guitar . If you will, keep in mind, he wasn’t overly swayed by the sound of these notable guitar masters. Therefore, Öberg promptly seals his signature to this gem and all others throughout!
“Dawn Ballad” penned by Öberg is utterly gorgeous! Yes, I’m already welcoming the idea of gems of this nature composed by him. Andreas closes the session with a laid back version of eighties dance classic by guitarist Mike Simbello – titled “Maniac!”
Andreas Öberg’s – “Six String Evolution” is absolutely superb. It’s like this jazz enthusiast, if you love guitar with terrific ensemble play then I’m sure this album will make a great addition to your music collection. On “Evolution,” Öberg infuses his unrivaled dexterity to these eleven attractive compositions that are played and arranged by some of the finest musicians in the industry. Öberg essentially accomplishes his mission with “Six String Evolution” he advances his unlimited voice through the sphere of this intrepid musical excursion. Recommended exclusively for jazz enthusiasts!
At your leisure, you can test drive Andreas Öberg’s – “Young Jazz Guitarist” at Amazon.com.
—Rob Young | The Urban Flux