16 October 2021
Linda Fredriksson - Juniper
Linda Fredriksson (they/them) shares their debut solo album "Juniper" on We Jazz Records, 29 Oct 2021. Linda (of Mopo and Superposition) has been working on the compositions heard on the album for several years, composing them mostly on guitar, keys and by singing. Only later have they been arranged for the band heard on the album, including Fredriksson on saxes and various instruments, Tuomo Prättälä (of ilmiliekki Quartet) on rhodes, moog and piano, Minna Koivisto on modular synth, moog and OP, Olavi Louhivuori (of Superposition) on drums, and Mikael Saastamoinen (of OK:KO and Superposition) on bass, plus featuring the Swedish artist Matti Bye on piano.
At heart, "Juniper" is a "singer-songwriter album", performed by an instrumental jazz band. The end result is unique, personal, and as Linda themself puts it "quiet and introspective".
The influence list for the album name checks the likes of Feist, Neil Young, Susanne Sundfør, Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Eric Dolphy and Fever Ray, yet the number one inspiration for Fredriksson prior to making the album was "Carrie and Lowell", the 2017 album by Sufjan Stevens. Different as the albums are in terms of instrumentation and general scope, it's fascinating to draw parallels between them by listening to the quietness and immediacy of the music.
"Juniper" can still be heard as a jazz album, but perhaps one reminding that the word doesn't need to mean any one thing in particular. At its best, jazz music is highly personal and "of the moment", both true on "Juniper". The album has been made in two different studios, three homes, two summer cottages and four working spaces. It was recorded with professional studio equipment but also with an iPhone and on a basic built-in laptop speaker. With that, "Juniper" stands as a remarkable musical diary of a creative musician and composer during the early 2020's.