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Witnessing by Lars Jansson Trio

What is striking about "Witnessing," an album by a Swedish trio of musicians, is its precision and camaraderie in the give and take of their individual performances. The music is cleanly decisive and they are clearly enjoying each others company in an affable conversation. While there is an easy comfort in the music, the overall feel is cool.

The title track, a slow reflective ballad, is gorgeous, but reserved. It doesn’t divulge the full depths of the emotion one would expect on a piece called ‘Witnessing.’ There is a poem on the inside cover of the CD that perhaps reveals the trio’s intention: "when words stop, silence, the water in the pond becomes clear, transparent, you see the bottom, nothing between you and existence, God smiles." Accordingly, the music is introspective. The poem concludes: "celebrate, just being at ease with yourself, living, witnessing." It is this internalization of emotion and social passivity that is illustrative in the music. This is not swing music, this is not the bitter taste of betrayal, this is not the anger of revolt and this is not the liberation of triumph. It is watching the world flow by and, as one title piece suggests, just being, or another, resting in the shadow.

Taking the music on its terms, the overall effect is beautiful but there is a certain sameness to the terrain. After awhile, you want to reach out for a discordant note and touch someone.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Lars Jansson Trio
  • CD Title: Witnessing
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Imogena Records
  • Tracks: Success-Failure, Get It, Witnessing, At Ease, Fred, Quit Mornings, Inner Flow, Just Being, New Blues, Resting in the Shadow, The Wounded Healer Can Heal, Reading Music
  • Musicians: Lars Jansson (piano), Lars Danielson (bass), Anders Kjellberg (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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