NEAR THE POND, the new album by American cornetist Kirk Knuffke (born 1980), Swedish bassist/cellist Thommy Andersson (born 1973), and Swedish vocalist Josefine Cronholm (born 1971) explores cross-continental friendships and cultural exchanges in a project inspired by the literary works of Swedish-American author Carl Sandburg.
Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois in 1878 to two Swedish immigrants – Clara Mathilda and August Johnson. His poems portray industrialized America, which he wrote about in a focused and simplistic voice, with a musician's instinct to defy traditional rules of the time regarding form and structure. A skilled guitarist and singer as well, Sandburg collected American folk music and it was this advanced musicality that Kirk Knuffke appreciated in his poetry, leading to three of the author's poems appearing on this recording. Josefine Cronholm was fascinated with Clara Mathilda's fate – her lonely voyage across the Atlantic, and the dreams of the Sweden she left behind – inspiring new music and lyrics she brought to the project. The poem in the song Near the Pond – also the title of the album – is by 9-year-old Shunn Theingi. Kirk Knuffke found the text in a book he discovered on the street in New York.
Knuffke has released a dozen records as a leader and co-leader, also enjoying prominent sideman roles on countless recordings with artists including Matt Wilson, Allison Miller, Butch Morris, Uri Caine, Pierre Dorge, and Michael Formanek. He's become one of the most compelling artists of his generation with his strong, personal voice and technical virtuosity that balances commitment to both the experimental and fundamental, innovation and tradition. It's no surprise the New York Times has hailed him as “one of New York's busiest musicians.” Knuffke and Andersson have worked together in several projects over the years and it didn't take long for them ....... więcej