Magnus Öström: Searching For Jupiter

COMPOSERS: Magnus Öström
LABELS: ACT
ALBUM TITLE: Searching For Jupiter
WORKS: Searching For Jupiter
PERFORMER: Magnus Öström, Andreas Hourdakis, Daniel Karlsson, Thobias Gabrielson
CATALOGUE NO: 9541-2

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Best-known as the drummer in the hugely successful Esbjörn Svensson Trio (EST), this is Magnus Öström’s second release since Svensson’s tragic death five years ago. The title refers to the god Jupiter bringing light to tragedy. For this follow-up to his debut Thread of Life he uses the same core of Swedish musicians but adds a new pianist, Daniel Karlsson. The opener ‘The Moon (And the Air it Moves)’, although a shade brighter than his first album’s devastating ‘Prelude’, keeps the slow building atmosphere. Some may find that this sense of brooding reflection continues to overwhelm much of the album. But there are moments where the mood lifts, such as on ‘Happy and the Fall’, with Karlsson’s tumbling piano hook. On ‘Dancing at the Dutchtreat’ this joyful, catchy highlight is propelled forward by a jazz-rock beat and sets the stage for guitarist Hourdakis and the band to shine. 

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Neil McKim