RECORDINGS

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Modernistic Jazz of the Twenties……………………HHCD 107

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The expression that we have chosen in the title of this CD prompts some explanation. We are not a bunch of post be boppers trying to modernize grandfathers music and on the other hand this is not a try to get further into the jazz history which with a band of our sort and instrumentation could at best result in heavy versions of Monk and Gillespie. No, this is just ” Paul and his Gang ” going on it’s tenth year of searching for musical happiness and meaning and in doing so it happened that another door was opened, a door leading to yet another of the many fascinating areas of the original jazz. Not that it was a new discovery, “Humpty Dumpty” as an example was on the very first record that I bough in my life, about halftime between Bix’s tragic death in 1931 and the present, but it was not until we returned from the Bix Festival of Phil Pospychala near Chicago and after a visit to Davenport that we arrived at the point of actually playing material like this.
At the time of their release on record tunes that the musicians/composers themselves baptized humorously to “Krazy Kat” and “Three Blind Mice” were given a more pretentious presentations like “A Tone-Poem, in Slow Rhythm” and “A Rhythmic Theme in Advanced Harmony” – and why not? We are here a far cry from the kind of routines that make specialists of later jazz styles more often than not disregard early jazz as “Dixieland” and consider it primitive regarding the use of simple harmonies and non-complex rhythms.
This CD is dedicated to the ” crazy cats ” of the twenties that felt free to experiment, stretched the boundaries and furnished us with those everlasting musical delicacies – Bix, Tram, Venuti, Lang, Robison and Carmichael to mention a few.
Paul Bocciolone Strandberg


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Take Your Tomorrow……………….STOMP OFF CD 1329
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« I wish to report the recent release of “Take your Tomorrow (And Give me Today)” (Stomp Off/Jazz Trad CD1329) by the Swedish band Paul and his Gang. Founded in 1990 by cornet player Paul Strandberg, this septet is often strongly reminiscent of another “Gang”, led by Bix Beiderbecke in the 20’s. This is fun music, but never circus music, thanks to the musicianship of the members of the group and to the skills, of drummer Ragnar Tretow, with excellent solos by trombonist Dymitr Markiewicz, Kiki Desplat (unquestionably one of the best cornet players around – and she’s French!) and Paul himself. Highly recommended to all fans of good Dixieland music. »
The News, November 1997

« The band plays a wonderful repertoire of jazz and hot dance music. Their CD includes no fewer than 21 numbers, including Bix specialties (“Wa-Da-Da,” “Big Boy,” “Sorry,” “Lazy Daddy,” “Davenport Blues”) and numbers Bix probably played during the 1920’s as they were common tunes of the day (“Bless You, Sister,” “I Never Miss the Sunshine,” “No, No, Nora,” and “Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella”). Strandberg and Desplat handle most of the vocal work and dazzle the onlookers with their two-comet work. »
Mississippi Rag, August 2000


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Futuristic Rhythm……………………SITTEL SITCD 9210
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« While all the musicians are proficient, leader Strandberg’s emulation of Bix deserves special commendation. Also admirable are his band arrangements. Kiki Desplat’s comet and vocal work (she gives us French lyrics on ‘I’ll Be a Friend with Pleasure’ ), Dymitr Markiewitz’s agile and gutsy trombone, and Frans Sjöström’s bouncy two-beat bass sax support and melodic solos are particularly enjoyable… For a charming nostalgia trip, this Bixian smorgasbord will not disappoint.»
Mississippi Rag, June 1996