Lars Danielsson (bass; b. 1958)
Lars Danilesson might not be well known amongst many jazz fans but he is building an exciting and diverse portfolio of work. He has recorded over 12 albums and performed as a sideman on countless of other releases. The bassist has worked with Charles Lloyd, Eivind Aarset, Nils Petter Molvaer, Jack DeJohnette, Viktoria Tolstoy to name a few. His style while quiet is beautifully orchestrated. He had a constant quartet in the '90s that featured Bobo Stenson (piano), Dave Liebman (sax) and Jon Christiensen (drums) that recorded a string of astonishing sessions that only one is readily available Far North (Curling Legs). That quartet definitely helped shape Lars Danielsson compositional vision and I think is responsible for his more adventurous recordings of late for ACT Music.
His current work on ACT has ranged from lush jazz orchestral dates to electronic influenced sessions (with help from Nils Petter Molvaer and Bugge Wesseltoft) and a beautiful, folksy, melodic duo recording with Polish pianist, Leszek Możdżer, entitled, Pasodoble. Pasodoble is probably the one I would recommend to most people as a good starting point. Its quite, spacious and lovely for any setting. With incredible and emotional interplay between the two musicians.
Another quintet release that might also be appealing is his most recent Tarantella. Tarantella is multi-dimensional and has a texture that seems to almost envelope the listener and carry you a delightful journey for an hour. Touching, honest and experienced, Tarantella shows serious growth from a bassist with two decades of experience working with some of the best musicians in jazz.
Just in the last few weeks Act Music released an amazing compilation spanning all of Danielsson's album on various labels. Entitled, Signature Edition (there are three other artists in this new artists specific compilation series), it may be more than the unitiated need but if you are familiar with his work which can be hard to find this is well worth getting. I found it on Amazon more else buy stumbling on to it--but I'm happy I did. There is a lot of material I couldn't find and most of it is included here. Signature Edition is a two disc set. There is a digital version but its only half the tracks.
Danielsson's seems to be able weave classical themes and jazz improvisation with incredible ease. Another reason why I find him an exciting proposition for anyone getting into jazz to check him out. I'm hoping that some time sooner rather than later everyone will get to hear Lars Danielsson.