Belly-Up

COMPOSERS: Fredrik Lundin
LABELS: Stunt
PERFORMER: Fredrik Lundin Overdrive
CATALOGUE NO: STUCD 04072

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Balke’s saxophonist is Fredrik Lundin, never one to be shy of surprising an audience. His own project for Stunt, Belly-Up, pays homage to the blues-folk singer Leadbelly – not exactly the likeliest initiative from a band of Danes more used to post-bop and fusion situations. I wasn’t keen on Per Jorgensen’s bellowing vocal on the opening ‘Goodnight Irene’, but after that the record is an absorbing take on Leadbelly’s rough old repertoire. Initially inspired by Clifford Jordan’s Atlantic album of many years before,

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These Are My Roots, Lundin and his crew impose their own feel on boisterous blues marches and pieces which sound like convincing translations of a music very remote from their own experience. Blues and funk don’t come easily to northern Europeans, but this is an oddly effective record.