The jazz/fusion world has seen a new star being born! This is second album out by Swedish musician JOHANNES ZETTERBERG. His main instrument is the bass, while he’s also great at playing keyboards. This 26-year old guy from Stockholm once again teamed up with musicians like JASON REBELLO, BRANDON FIELDS, BOB MINTZER and STEVE WEINGART he delivers top notch music that absolutely competes with the biggest names in the genre.
It starts with a short vocal intro, actually reminding me a lot of THE REAL GROUP. When the instruments are doing the job in “Dark Horse” we’re transferred into THE RIPPINGTONS neighborhood, although maybe a little more keyboard and bass driven. I’ll be the first one to admit that some may call this “musician’s fusion”, since the complexity is on a high level. I find myself trying to figure out some of the beats or times here, which can be tricky when you realize two (or more) different instruments are playing different times! Just hear the bass solo playing shortly after 3 minutes of “Painter’s Portrait”! Phew! “Rope Walk” follows, giving you DAVID SANBORN fusion/jazz and a smile on your face.
At times, Johannes brings some latin vibes into the music as well. “Beyond Borders” is the best example, and the rhythm section is so tight in this song! Even some flute is added to the slight bossa nova feel here. Just hear the ending chords in this tune – it is almost unbelievable. And yet, the best song in my opinion is “Via Del Mare”. Imagine YELLOWJACKETS on their album “Four Corners” and you get the picture. An equal share of jazz and fusion, and this actually goes for most of the album.
Compared to the debut CD “Luna Nueva”, I’d say this is maybe a little more jazz oriented, but the difference is hardly worth mentioning. What’s new on this second CD is some vocal additions, but only as rhythm vocals. I think this doesn’t add much, to be honest. My advice would be to add two vocal songs, real vocal songs, next time. Finally I must give my homage to the Swedish musicians involved, not only the fantastic playing by Johannes Zetterberg himself. Aron Mellergårdh (drums), and guitarists Erik Linder and Andreas Ekstedt are only some of the BRILLIANT musicians. I strongly recommend this CD to anyone who likes fusion/jazz.