Magnus Lindgren is a multi-talented creator of music. His ability to express himself on the tenorsax, clarinet or flute wears the sign of a real master. However, he is also able to explore interesting music on several other instruments. Multi is a good expression of this gifted person. As a composer he has a great potential to fulfil his own creative impulses. He dresses them in a melodical costume, optimal for the stylish frame that is proper for the moment.
Last but certainly not least; the obvious masterclass in the musically versatile arsenal of Magnus Lindgren is his brilliant emotion for arranging music. The greatness lies in the way he puts together the sublime samples of notes, the sound colours, the rhythm figures, the harmony sequences.
All this in a truly organic way; no risk for overdoing. The final result brings a sence of dewfresh contemporary statement. If you on top of this add the natural gifted Magnus Lindgren´s ability to accommodate the subtle quality from a large range of musical genres; then the comparison with the musical titan Quincy Jones is obvious.
Therefore, it´s not surprising that Quincy is the mentor who Magnus admires the most, along with giants as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. In Magnus way of looking at it, those three legends have had the guts to always look further into the universal world of music, even though they already had proven their greatness.
In the same manner Magnus works all the time to extend his musical frames, no matter if he deals with small jazz combos, big bands, choirs with instrumental soloist, intergration between classical orchestra and jazz group, swedish folklore, heavy funk rhythms, brazilian samba or african traditional music. Structures and genres are always given new dimensions, a certain amount of risks are included and the joy to participate is offered to everyone who has the opportunity to experience his enchanting efforts.
When Magnus Lindgren receives well earned honours for his various musicianship he responds with deep confession that his own thoughts on this matter truly is that he has just begun! He claims very prompt that music can vary a lot; the main thing is that it always must be worked out with a solid personality and total honesty.
In his early days, Magnus listened to big band jazz created by Buddy Rich; the melody was Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. With his own words; he was overwhelmed. The first LP he bought was the Michael Jackson album Thriller. It catched him totally. The fact that Quincy Jones had created the intensive dynamic and spectacular varied background for the legendary popicon was a logical summary for the taste of Magnus Lindgren.
All music must come from the bottom of your soul, according to Magnus Lindgren. Therefore, it´s logic that his cd-project from autumn 2013 is called Souls. In a furtile collaboration with the american bassplayer and producer Ira Coleman, Magnus has put together a nice couple of newly written originals. The disc with a certain club feeling and to some degree with old school technology was recorded in New York. The production Souls contents a spectacular group of international musicians, together with vocal artists with star glance. For example the Swedish singers Rigmor Gustafsson, Marie Fredriksson (from Roxette) and Anna Christoffersson. Souls can be considered as a manifest from Magnus Lindgren for his ability to make music with a broad musically spectrum, together with an open hearted attitude.
In Magnus Lindgren´s way of looking at it, the improvisational moment is the centre of the musical universe. The established jazz quartet offers generous possibilities to spread a creative flow. Magnus is steadily returning to that kind of chamber musicial cooperation. He proved it again in the cd-production Four, released 2012. The result gave lots of acclaimed media respons and also a Swedish Grammy nomination. The album Four consists of the world renowned bassplayer Palle Danielsson, the astonishing drummer Jonas Holgersson and Daniel Karlsson respectively Anke Helfrich, two pianoplayers with the ability to give a good back up with sublime expressions. The music is merely Magnus´ own compositions, completed with a colourful version of Michel Jackson´s I Just Can´t Stop Loving You.
An obvious love declaration…
Batucada Jazz was released in 2009 and became the international break through for Magnus Lindgren. Totally focused of integrating his own melodical world with brasilian rhythm and dynamic sound he goes to Rio de Janeiro in order to collaborate with local musical profiles. Once again he receives a Swedish Grammynomination and goes with the project Batucada Jazz on a world tour. The journey also includes an exclusive appearance for Quincy Jones, the mentor and the master. The emotions from Quincy was so evident that the legend raised in front of the audience and shouted out:
– Give Magnus every love that you´ve got!
Magnus himself declares that the goal was to mix simple but not shallow music with the sweaty carneval rhythms, in order to produce joy and friendship. In his own words:
– Music that equally well could be played on a football arena…
The capacity to catch a public with soul marinated music is a speciality for the tromboneplayer and singer Nils Landgren and his band The Funk Unit. Since 2008 Magnus is part of this constellation; an ensemble with global perspectives and an international audience. Hot club nights alternated with grand arena concerts and even interaction in Africa with youngsters who are receiving support and financing from The Funk Unit, in order to develope their own musical talents. In this environment Magnus fits in perfect, especially because The Funk Unit is focused on totally expressive musically figuration.
– If you don´t put in at least 120% of yourself in the project, you are doomed to fail, Magnus states.
The wide horizon in the musical world of Nils Landgren is a perfect match for Magnus. At a great jubilee concert with the Berlin Philharmonics a while ago, Nils Landgren was given a performance as soloist. The commission to compose and integrate jazz trombone in a classical divertimento was a formidable success for Magnus Lindgren; a profile that always wants to go ahead and into the future.
Music without borders is a perfect attraction for Magnus Lindgren. When the world wide renowned soprano singer Barbara Hendricks asked Magnus short before a concert to interact with the clarinet part in a classical piece of Franz Schubert, Magnus took the challenge with enjoyment. Their first appearance 2002 was such a success that the cooperation between Magnus and Barbara from that moment was established. Besides the musical happiness, Magnus looks at the positive experience to give concerts in front of a huge and classical well educated public. He explains that with Barbara he has learned to look at the stage more or less as a living room.
– My own living room, he emphasis.
The definite and widely recognised break through came as early as 2001, when Magnus was only 25 and launched his own big band music on the record Paradise Open, in cooperation with The Swedish Radio Jazz Group. This truly gifted youngster with the eminent abilities to compose and arrange for big bands is now given a maximum of roses. Paradise Open receives, besides great amounts of generous critisism and public approval, even the credit as the best Swedish jazzalbum of the year from the national public service company Sveriges Radio. Furthermore, Paradise Open is also honoured with a desirable Swedish Grammy. Last but not least, Magnus is given the great honour to bring home the utmost jazzprice in Sweden, the jazz magazine OrkesterJournalen´s Golden Disc.
A bit shocked and of course very happy, Magnus declares that this is a kind of project that he very much would like to repeat.
– There are numerous possibilities to write a musical arrangement, it will never be the same from time to time. The moment of improvisation always open up new roads to follow. The goal is that the next time it will be even better.
– I´m learning all the time…
The year before Paradise Open Magnus is releasing his debut album; Way Out. He choses his playing partners with great care and assembles a quartet which will be the kind of ensemble he returns to many times in the future. The members in the quartet are Mathias Algotsson on piano, Fredrik Jonsson bass and Jonas Holgersson, drums. The quartet is completed with a section of woodwinds on this very much acclaimed and also Swedish Grammy nominated record debut.
Way Out can be seen as a confirmation that Sweden has got a new and rarely gifted young jazzmusician. A comprehensive and dedicated creator of music with an appearent potential for a lush carrier. This prediction will prove to be an absolute truth.
Magnus Lindgren describes how an idea for a composition can arise just in a second, ready to be noted. In another moment, an improvised phrase is suddenly right there, despite he is holding his tenorsax, clarinet or flute. But at the same time he emphasises the importance of knowing his tools very well, in order to handle them in a perfect manner. He looks with joy back to the five years when he studied at the Royal Musical University in Stockholm. A place he attended when he was only 17 years old. During the years 1992-1997 he had the privilege to learn from several truly gifted teatchers which gave him possibilites to deepen his already good knowledge in composition, arrangements, tenorsax, clarinet and flute. Instead of taking student loans he receives money by accepting many different gigs. No commission is turned down; every gig is an oppurtunity to gain more experience.
– To go by a Finnish ferry and play rockabilly with the Boppers, and after that a rapid move to the Royal Castle in order to play big band music when the Swedish king is celebrated. And at the end of the day make a late clubgig with Bob Manning and sweaty soul music.
Magnus hails the philosophy to always look at every occasion as a possibility to develope himself.
– One of my best jazz friends has reached 85. He just started to learn french…
Magnus Lindgren´s musical talent was obvious very early. Especially his natural pitch, which gave every note its natural own position. This was something his father Börge noted with deep interest. At the age of 14 Magnus was a member of his pianoplaying father´s highly qualified dance orchestra. Primarely as tenorsax player, but even on guitar, bass or drums. His multitalent was obvious already at this young age.
– To tour and play dance music was interesting and also very instructive. Long travels, heavy lifting and four hours of playing every evening. A short sleep and the next day rapidly away to the next dance hall in another town.
The route was set and Magnus knew for sure that the goal was to live and make a living with music. Until now, he had made a remarkable journey. A fascinated high level of ambition is one of the trade marks for this extraordinary gifted person. Therefore he is truly reliable when he states clearly that he still has a lot to learn. Or with his own words
– I am just in the beginning.
The future promises to be surely exciting and various. The season 2013/2014 Magnus has been invited as Artist-in-Residence at the Vara Consert House in Sweden. At this institution he has had many possibilities to deepen his work with composition and arranging, through the cooperation with one of the foremost big bands – Bohuslän Big Band. Such an extra ordinary orchestra is of course an excellent source of inspiration. Especially since the artistic director of the big band is the creative Nils Landgren.
A good number of attentive projects with the Bohusband and profiled guest artists have occured. For example with the new and acclaimed rising vocal star Gregory Porter from the US.
During spring 2014 Magnus Lindgren interacted with even one more highly acclaimed voiceartist from USA, namely Bobby McFerrin. A totally improvised meeting which developed to a considerable success in front of a sold out Stockholm Concert House, where the two soulbrothers McFerrin and Lindgren came together as one heart, one soul.
During the spring season 2014 Magnus Lindgren also presented newly written music which was given the name Nordic Big Band Inferno. A suite for big band, harp and lightning. Once again, he shows his genious creativity when it comes to melody, sound clusters and dynamic togetherness between the different sections in the band. Harp, in jazz an odd instrument, is organically placed within the music and by placing the soloists at different places on the bandstand, with an extraordinary lightning, the music is placed in a context which is highly unique and even magic.
The world´s leading jazz magazine Down Beat noted in an article 2013 that Magnus Lindgren surely is a music personality who is always on his way. As soon as you turn around he is heading for another place, always working to explore a new exciting project.
The comment from Down Beat is definitely on the edge.
Magnus Lindgren does not want to put up borders for what is possible to achieve; music in motion is a constant attraction and challenge.