“Bassist Mats Ingvarsson is somewhat of a fixture on the Swedish jazz scene. Over the course of several years he’s released a string of albums, sometimes as a
member of Un-x-pected Pleasure, sometimes solo, but often via the specialist label Kopasetic Productions. His 2014 release ‘Hope’ enlists the talents of labelmate Maggi Olin on the grand piano and a pretty mean Fender Rhodes. Joining them, session drummer Daniel Fredrikssen and Magnus Lindberg ensure this is an impressive gathering…
…No matter how busy things seem to get, Ingvarsson holds a steady beat throughout, which makes an ideal base – and bass, of course – for either Olin’s Rhodes to work out a steady attack, or for Lindeberg to throw out several wah-wahed shapes, aggressive, but yet often staying on the bluesy side…
…More tight funk elements provide the core of ‘Take Cover’, a workout driven by hard slapped bass and an appearance of guest horns. Although only two horns are present – trumpet and sax – between them they bring enough parp for three times the horn section. By the time they step down, some great improvisational work begins. Olin attacks the Rhodes in an aggressive style but never loses sight of a cool groove, Lindeberg throws out muted guitar chords in the manner of a 70s cop movie soundtrack, while Ingvarsson wrings the hell out of his bass neck. With the arrival of a sax break, things slide from the tight and tuneful to the more carefree, but those who listen to a lot of fusion work and still get kicks from various Return To Forever and Weather Report discs will almost certainly be in their element…
…Since Swedish jazz seems to get less exposure away from its home turf than many US releases, there’s always a danger that this disc might get overlooked. If you have the merest interest in jazz bass, classic 70s inspired fusion or jazz-funk grooves, this disc should appear somewhere on your radar. It’s not perfect, but there’s more than enough great material within to impress right from first listen, while some of the lower-key material should bring extra enjoyment upon repeat spins.
“Besides a fascinating musician himself, Mats Ingvarsson certainly is a team player, he lets all the members of his band shine in their solos and specialties. Although this is a flawless, very professionally recorded album, it still has this sense of improvising that makes it, together with the well-chosen interesting covers, even more accessible and attractive. I would like to recommend this album as a ‘must have’ and even if you, music lover, don’t listen that often to jazz: try this one, you won’t regret it!”
Johanna J. Bodde insrgentcountry
“The notes are fullsome. Grooves nice. Heavily swayed by the indelible’s of Jazz Monsignor Sco and old school soul tunes.”
All About Jazz
“Mats Ingvarsson releases soulful funk jazz with his own vocals as a bonus.
Mats Ingvarsson has come out. The man from Malmoe is a well known team player on electric and upright bass, with an array of bands and artists such as Damn!/Timbuktu, A Bossa Elétrica, Almaz Yebio, Soul Quality Quartet and Sofi Hellborg. A tour with world famous pianist Geri Allen is an extra large feather in his cap.
Different styles, different grooves. But what about his own preferences? The new album Mats Ingvarsson’s HOPE, the first one in his own name, gives the answer: Soulful funk jazz and r’n b, sometimes with horns.
There’s inspiration from Hancock’s Headhunters, Miles Davis’ later work, and the smart thing with ”HOPE” is the friction between professionalism and the rough edges.
No doubt.. Everybody’s playing is solid but the band isn’t aiming for anything slick or polished, but instead the renowned feeling. There’s pulse, nerve and nasty bluesy bendings, not least from Maggi Olin’s cleverly sneaking electric piano. The bold wahwah-loving guitarist Magnus Lindeberg’s bite and articulation does a lot to elevate everything.
The leader himself makes sure to ferment the groove, alongside Daniel Fredriksson’s drums, and stretches out once in a while. Ingvarsson writes attractive tunes and also flashes the ability of singing soul – not high profile or with big gestures but enjoyable and functional. The fact that he takes care of the singing himself gives extra points.
If Lindeberg’s serpenting over the frets intrigues you to enjoy more guitar, try Ibrahim Electric-guitarist Niclas Knudsens new ”Radio Timbuktu”; horns-galore and no-limit worldmusicjazz.” Alexander Agrell, Sydsvenska Dagbladet