Album Review of

Written by Robert Silverstein
October 30, 2019 - 5:08pm EDT
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A good example of a sonic merger between 21st century instrumental jazz-fusion and ethnic Scandinavian folk music can be heard in its full glory on Zobop, an eight cut, 41 minute music masterpiece from Swedish guitarist Henrik Cederblom. One of many favorable outcomes of the late 20th century rock era, the Swedish fascination with traditional folk music dates back to the late 1960s, and the early works of progressive rock musicians including the late, keyboadist / composer Bo Hansson and Bo’s guitarist Kenny Håkansson, the latter going on to explore the true depths of merging Swedish folk and rock music on numerous albums from the past 50 years. With its fine attunement to both melody and jazz improv, Henrik’s 2019 album Zobop will clearly appeal to jazz and folk-jazz listeners. On Zobop, Henrik excels on electric guitars, lap steel and beats and he gets solid support from his band, including Viktor Turegård (electric bass), Tapha Ndiongue (drums), Sten Källman (sax, percurssion) and Finn Björnulfson (percussion on "Zobop"). One interesting thing here is, even incorporating the folk-based melodies, the fusion music on Zobop was composed by Henrik except for one traditional song covered here. Henrik cites modern day guitar influencers like Bill Frisell and Afrobeat drumming legend Tony Allen, but there’s a definite sense of originality thoughout the entire Zobop album.