The Ripple Effect
Rolf Jardemark Quartet Guitarland Records 008
Rolf Jardemark – electric & acoustic guitars Lars Jansson – piano
Olli Rantala – double bass
Adam Ross – drums
Release date – May 5, 2023
Recorded April 5–6 2022 in Nilento Studio, Gothenburg
Recording engineer – Joar Hallgren
Sound design, mix and mastering – Lars Nilsson, Nilento Studio, Gothenburg Produced by Rolf Jardemark for Guitarland Records
All music composed by Rolf Jardemark, apart from tracks 4 & 10, composed by Lars Jansson Graphic design by Peter Wetteus
The Ripple Effect marks the twelfth solo release by Gothenburg's own jazz guitarist Rolf Jardemark. Those familiar with his work know him from various musical endeavors, such as the album Cosmology (featuring guitarist John Stowell) and the EP Springtime in New York with the Jardemark/Rantala/Ross trio. But it's not often that we get to hear Jardemark's guitar artistry alongside piano.
Enter pianist Lars Jansson, who is frequently seen performing with his own trio. The Ripple Effect serves as an outstanding showcase of how seamlessly guitar and piano, both being multifaceted chordal instruments, can blend together. The album offers an eclectic and rich sonic landscape, with Jardemark's warm and mellow guitar tones adorned by the sparkling brilliance of Jansson's piano lines.
The title of the album, The Ripple Effect, suggests the idea that one good deed can radiate outwards like ripples on water, reaching people around the globe. Those acquainted with Jardemark will confirm that his positive and engaging personality embodies this concept. Over his 40-year career, based in Gothenburg, Jardemark has managed to generate countless positive ripples across the Nordic jazz scene and further afield. Ljungskile-based but internationally recognized Lars Jansson similarly embraces a life-affirming approach to composition and improvisation. It's no coincidence that Jansson's two compositions on the album are titled Loving Kindness and Freedom of Heart.
The music on The Ripple Effect encompasses influences from both post-bop and Latin American styles. Jardemark's relaxed improvisations are melodious and unhurried, frequently playfully hinting at the blues. Few can write jazz waltzes with the same organic melodicism as Rolf Jardemark, as evidenced by tracks like Maj Constantia and Margot's Waltz. Even the album's opening 5/4 piece, Ripples on the Water, swings with the same easy grace that Jardemark brings to a waltz. The title track displays a danceable, syncopated melody and a steady groove, perfectly aligning with Jansson's melodic phrasing and nimble sixteenth-note improvisations. This composition could just as easily have been penned by Jansson himself, illustrating the close rapport between the two musicians throughout the album, supported by the tight and propulsive rhythm section. Bassist Olli Rantala and drummer Adam Ross, both representing the younger generation of jazz talents, are active in a wide array of Nordic groups, further enhancing The Ripple Effect's musical offering.