Swedish tenor and soprano saxophonist Kari Sjöstrand knows how to best use the talent in her band, including co-leader bassist Larry Turner as well as the New Orleans musicians that enrich her compositions. It’s Turner’s electric bass and the congas of Cuban-born Crescent City transplant Alexey Marti that set the sway of the opening title cut. Sjöstrand’s rich tenor moves the groove to swing then it traverses between that and a Latin tinge. Hometown guy, trumpeter Ashlin Parker blows a fine, sharp yet mellow solo with the lead taken over by trombonist Paul Robertson, known by many for his work with the Soul Rebels and various other brass brands.
It’s interesting how much Sjöstrand employs the trombonist throughout the album. He’s way up front on “Waltz for the Earth,” on which she comes in with a very soulfully delivered tenor solo. Sjöstrand is well matched in musical temperament here with trumpeter Parker. Guitarist Matthew D. White rounds out the tune with drummer Adam Everett adding significant embellishment.
Sjöstrand moves to soprano for the lively “Everyone Should Have It,” which features the happy, dancing rhythms of Marti. The saxophonist displays a bit of her more exploratory nature on the cleverly titled “Purple Snow.”
The Deal swings out on the New Orleans–inspired “On the Riverwalk” with co-leader Turner doing some strolling on his bass tastily accompanied by guitarist White. The saxophonist and the rest of the band sound like they’re enjoying the musical view and their companions.