ISKRA (Remastered 2015)


A free, distinctive music, where the instruments’ possibilities, impossibilities (as well as their absurdities) are maximally exploited. At times, fists are swung – the same kind of musical manifestations you find on the continent. With musical hoodlums in the Netherlands, Germany, also in the US …” (from: Musikens Makt (The Power of Music), no. 1, 1976)

Under the headline ”Free, funny, improvised music” Lena Olsson and Bertil Gustavsson write about ISKRA as a playful musicians collective that was commissioned to make the 1975 album addition to the “Jazz in Sweden” series”. That ISKRA in particular received the prestigious award of “Jazz in Sweden” was a point of immediate debate, a fierce debate indeed, with many angrily arguing – “Was this really jazz at all?”

But if by “jazz” you mean a collective musical interaction where everyone listens to each other, recognisably so, then ISKRA is a jazz group who really earned that label. A strong formation where the individual musicians are equal, but with a preserved integrity and personal responsibility.

In “Musikens Makt”, Gustavsson and Olsson establish that the music is ”hard to describe – a svår att beskriva – a free, funny, improvised music – and also solid, brilliantly and consciously performed. There are long stretches of free improvisation with a lot of upheaval – small melodic, funny details. ISKRA stretches over a vast landscape – playing many different kinds of music, but in their own way, often pretty unique. They refuse to lock themselves in boxes and fit the templates, not even the ‘free’ ones. A revolutionizing music that sometimes turn revolutionary.
The music is playful – ‘ugly’ sounds are contrasted against ‘beautiful’ sounds, in continuous dialogue.

Now this highly sought after album is released in digital format for the first time, completely remastered and with tre previously unreleased bonus tracks to that. It was recorded in ISKRA’s rehearsal space in Stockholm February 19-23 and April 2, 1975, except “Tarmstadt” and “Blodstörtning” which were both recorded live at Jazzklubb Fasching in Stockholm, as part of the concert series ”Ett minne för livet” (“A Lifelong Memory”), July 1, 1975. This project was a joint venture with the groups Vargavinter and Spjärnsvallet.

Medlemmar i bandet:
Jörgen Adolfsson: soprano and tenor sax, electric guitar, flutes
Tuomo Haapala: double bass, cow horn, slide mandolin, vibraphone
Allan Olsson: soprano and baritone sax, bamboo flute
Sune Spångberg: percussion
Arvid Uggla: double bass, tuba, slide banjo

ISKRA also performs bowed mandolin, bowed kantele, amadinda, piano wires, acoustic guitar, duck tweeties, ocarina, as well as a large number of other percussion and sound tools.

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Show playlist

    • 1.
      Broman-Erik (dedicated to a Jemtlandic musician) Music: ISKRA

    • 2.
      Tarmstadt Music: ISKRA

    • 3.
      Amadinda Music: ISKRA

    • 4.
      Solsken över Ångermanälven Music: Trad./Tuomo Haapala/Jörgen Adolfsson/Arvid Uggla

    • 5.
      ISKRA 1900 Music: ISKRA

    • 6.
      Debattsviten Music: ISKRA

    • 7.
      Septisk tank Music: ISKRA

    • 8.
      Leija Music: Richard Evans

    • 9.
      Blodstörtning Music: ISKRA

    • 10.
      Höglandstorget Music: ISKRA

    • 11.
      Avanti popolo Music: Trad./ISKRA

    • 12.
      Tarmstadt bonus Music: ISKRA

    • 13.
      En spik i foten Music: ISKRA

    • 14.
      Debattsviten bonus Music: ISKRA

  • Total playtime
Digital // CAP 22068 // Jazz in Sweden // Jazz // Releasedate: 5 March, 2015