April 22, 2013
There´s a long and noble tradition of artists covering the work of another as a way of repaying a debt of gratitude. Bowie´s Pin Ups, Ferry´s These Foolish Things, Gabriel´s Scratch My Back and others like them reveal something about the passions that helped shape them, in a way that a mere namecheck never quite conveys. Sweden-based trumpeter Goran Kajfeš, who beat Bjork to the prestigious Nordic Music Prize in 2011, shares these sparkling interpretations of the tracks that fired his imagination and made him the player he is today. Artists covered include the rhytmically infectious Nigerian highlife artist Celestine Ukwu, Bo Hansson, Cluster, Soft Machine and Tame Impala, so it´s clearly an artistically diverse collection. However, spicy brass-dominated arrangements provide an energetic and well-constructed cohesion. Electric harpsichord, gloopy analouge synth, garrulous baritone sax sorties and hard, swinging beats conjure a good-natured, retro-themed jazz-goes-pop piquancy. This is no misty-eyed nostalgia knock-off, though. Kajfeš´soloing, and that of his fellow players, ensures the source material is injected with a fiercely original vitality.