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Firehouse - Live at Glenn Miller Café

Rex Butters, All About Jazz LA

More house afire than firehouse, this Swedish quintet plays with passion and precision.
Caught live at the Glenn Miller café in January of this year, the resulting document a band ably igniting a room and each other through seven performances.

John Lindblom's thick blunt and bent chords give "Cyclone Song" a Beefheart scent. When the band kicks in with hyper drive, you understand how they keep the cold away in northern latitudes.
With Magnus Broo's lip leveling solo leading a galloping chorus, the band locks into a runaway train riff that must have pinned people to the wall at the performance.

"Nothing Too Eccentric" threshes an Ornetteish theme, with Lindblom keening on rough, steel strings. Kjell Nordeson keeps the beat shuffled into a reprise of the theme, then Broo blows through with Fredrik Ljungkvist and Lindblom offering support in form of free arrangement. Ljungkvist flies on tenor at Lindblom's insistence.

Based on a pendulum swing between chords, "Bright Lights, Clear Fights" offers Ljungkvist a chance to roam over Lindblom's dramatic chording. Sounding less like Ray Charles and more like Sonny Sharrock, "What I Say" has the ensemble freely playing in and out of the melodic fabric woven by Lindblom.

Firehouse brings fire and ice, experimental enthusiasm, and melodic imagination to a live performance that must have left the audience as wrung out as the band.