Interview with Fredrik Lindborg: The music has to come from your heart: Video, New CD cover

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Jazz interview with jazz saxophonist Fredrik Lindborg. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Fredrik Lindborg: – I grow up in a suburb to Stockholm called Fisksätra. When my father was home with me during my first year in life, he played Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Sonny Rollins all day long and I loved it from the beginning. When I was two, my grandfather had just died and I told my kinder garden teacher that it wasn’t to bad since he could meet Charlie Parker in heaven.

JBN: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

FL: – Since I have always listened to jazz the language with the phrasing and everything has come quit easy. I guess that you can say that I’m mostly influenced by the bop of the 50th but I listen a lot to music that is both elderly and more modern than that. On my latest record I have also found inspiration in Swedish folk music and classical music but it’s mostly swingin’ jazz.

JBN: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

FL: – I think that rhythm is the most important thing in jazz but I can’t say that I really practice it that much. When I practice I always have rhythm in the back of my head even when I just practice sound. The only thing I can think about where I practice rhythm is that I practice high tempos trying to play relaxed.

JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

FL: – I want to get influences from many different styles and different musicians but I always have to make it to my own sound.

JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

FL: – I try to be focused a I while before. I don’t answers email or look at the telephone before a gig.

JBN: – What do you love most about your new album 2020: <A Swedish Portrait>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

FL: – When we do concerts we call it “Spirit of Swedish Jazz” and it’s a mixture of the fire and hard swing of American jazz, the melancholy of Swedish folk music and a spice of classical chamber music. The foundation is the compositions of the Swedish baritone saxophonist and composer Lars Gullin who wrote music with inspiration from a lot of genres.

Me, Daniel and Martin have have a trio called LSD (Lindborg, Sjöstedt & Daniel) I wanted to keep the freedom that we feel when we play together and bring it to this new band with the strings.

I also wanted to give the strings a big role. We don’t have a piano so the strings carrie all the harmonics and a lots of the melodies. I think it has a nice mixture of Swedish folk music and classical music but it’s always jazz at the same time. It’s hard swingin’, easy listening, intricate, funny, ugly, beautiful, well, it has all kinds of ingredients. I’m actually very proud of it.

We are thinking about what we can do next with the same constellation since we have so much fun together. We will try to give the strings an even bigger role and compose and arrange the music for every individual in the band.

JBN: – Ism is culled from a variety of lives dates with various performers over the course of a few years. Did your sound evolve during that time? And how did you select the musicians who play on the album?

FL: – I’ve been playing with Martin and Daniel on bass and drums for many years so the were obvious.

I didn’t know the strings before but I was very lucky to find these great musicians who I love to play with.

JBN: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

FL: – When I practice I use my intellect but when I play I try not to think at all. The music has to come from your heart and at least my intellect is too slow to be able yo use when I play. You have to react on instinct.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

FL: – It’s much more fun to play to an audience that likes what you are doing then an audience that doesn’t like it. For me the audience is very important and makes me play better. Especially now with corona when I have been doing a lots of live stream concerts with no audience I have really realized how important the audience is. So yes, I want to give the people what they want.

JBN: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

FL: – Two weeks ago I played in the Stockholm Concert Hall with the band Stockholm Swing All Stars and I recalled an early memory when I was playing with the music school where I had saxophone lessons. I think I was 11 years old and we held a concert in the Stockholm Concert Hall. It was so big for me to be playing on the same stage that Charlie Parker had played. When I climbed the stairs I was thinking about that Charlie had put his foot on the exact same step as me. I also thought that I was probably a better saxophone player than Charlie at the same age since he started to play when he was eleven.

This time, a couple of weeks ago was also big, playing some of his tunes as a celebration of his 100 birthday almost exactly 70 years after he played on the same stage on his Sweden tour in the autumn of 1950.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

FL: – I think that good music will live on forever. Classical music has a big audience and so will jazz. In Stockholm we have club called “speakeasie“ wish plays 1920th jazz and the audience is young and they don’t care that the music is a 100 years old, they just think it’s good.

JBN: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

FL: – I have to agree with Coltrane, I get my energy from music. The meaning of life is a hard one. I always try to do the best in every situation, I think that makes life meaningful for me.

JBN: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

FL: – It’s mostly jazz, Ellington, Parker, Billie Holiday, Sonny Rollins, Albert Ayler, but also classical and soul.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

FL: – I have a feeling, different from tune to tune and I just want to share that feeling whether it’s sadness, happiness, anger or something else. But most of all I want people to feel happy.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

FL: – First I thought I wanted go to the future but I don’t want to spoil it. So I’ll have to go back in time. I think that the 40th in New York would be nice.

JBN: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that now?

FL: – Now I want to play as much as possible with “Spirit of Swedish Jazz” and other bands and projects. We have so much fun together so I hope that we can do it for a long time and also do international concerts.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Inställt: Spirit of Swedish jazz | Konserthuset Stockholm

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