Jan Lundgren, Flowers Of Sendai (Bee Jazz)
Recorded six months before his acclaimed All By Myself, pianist Lundgren’s 2013 trio album contains two unaccompanied pieces that differ from the solo album and from one another. Lundgren develops his “Flowers Of Sendai” into a series of dance-like chromatic passages seasoned with whimsy before he lets it down easy, still dancing. His version of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” lives up to the title, with sumptuous harmonies including, as a distingué trace of sophistication, an ever-so-slightly dissonant final chord. In the rest of the album Lundgren, his longtime bassist Mattias Svensson and new drummer Zoltan Csörsz Jr. explore his own compositions and others by Svensson, Richard Galliano, Paolo Fresu and Georg Riedel. Svensson’s powerful solo on fellow bassist Riedel’s “Melancolia” is a highlight. In the US, the French CD is extravagantly priced. The MP3 download is an affordable option.