Sat June 1, 2024

Magnus Lindgren & John Beasley 'Butterfly Effect' (S/USA)

Magnus Lindgren: reeds
John Beasley: piano

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As with "Bird Lives", the appeal of "Butterfly Effect" lies in the fact that the two protagonists have such different musical backgrounds. Mag-nus Lindgren is from Sweden, and draws from a deep well of European classical music, but also the freedom of jazz and the emotionality of soul and pop. John Beasley is American, and combines a powerful imagination which shines through in his own recordings influenced by his experience of working with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Steely Dan, Dianne Reeves, his film and TV soundtracks, together with an imposing catalogue of arrange-ments and compositions for big band.

"Butterfly Effect" gathers these influences to-gether to create a particularly fine distillate, and one which reveals a completely different side of Lindgren and Beasley from their work with large or-chestras and big bands. What this recording delivers in abundance – and what the listener will also inevi-tably experience as each of these performances takes wing – is the spontaneity and alchemy of their interaction.

According to the "Butterfly Effect", tiny disturb-ances at one point on the earth’s surface, even the flapping of a butterfly's wings, can trigger huge changes in distant places. For saxophonist/ flautist/ clarinetist Magnus Lindgren and pianist John Beasley, the point of departure here is the smallest possible format for musical interaction, the duo. And it is a starting-point with enchanting consequences.

Eleven original compositions – plus an arrange-ment of the Beatles classic "Come Together" – create musical worlds in microcosm for Lind-gren and Beasley to explore together. Lindgren and Beasley’s lively musical minds and vast com-bined experience are well-known: both musicians are respected and admired worldwide as important, sought-after arrangers in jazz and popular music. Their first album together, "Bird Lives" was gar-landed with three GRAMMY nominations and one win. Here, they have accelerated their art, creating what might be called arrangements in real-time.