AMN Reviews: Lisa Ullén, Elsa Bergman, and Anna Lund – Space (2022; Relative Pitch)

This Swedish piano trio, all of whom are part of the Anna Hogberg Attack, explores the edges of open-ended creative jazz. Spaces is their debut and exhibits the type of free improvisation that is unpredictable and yet flows logically between themes and motifs.

While Lund is drummer and sole percussionist, all three take a percussive approach to their playing. Pianist Ullén, in particular, aggressively pounds out chords and angular melodies. Indeed, her more rhythmic moments allow Lund and Bergman to contribute their own twisted and rattling foreground elements. Bergman is sadly a bit low in the mix but can be heard exploring the extent of her bass, gently employing extended technique to generate rough-hewn textures from time to time. Lund is a remarkably creative and driving force, standing out even amongst the demiurgic input of her bandmates. In short, those who appreciate jazz-inflected free music are going to find much to like here.

At only 39 minutes, Spaces is a short album by today’s standards. However, its compact timing is well-suited to this trio’s approach. Ullén, Bergman, and Lund say what they need to say within this time frame, packing in the ideas. The result is an information-rich and ultimately satisfying offering.

Spaces will be released on March 4 by Relative Pitch.

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