by Arne Forsén

Arne Forsén is a Swedish pianist with a unique range. With a starting point in jazz and free improvisation he moves freely over the boundaries to classical music, West African music and not the least Swedish Folk music, which he does on Visa från Dorotea (Song from Dorotea).

Here Forsén has dug deep into the traditional Swedish folk music, especially the one from the northern region of Västerbotten. And few are as suited to do this as he is. Raised in the city of Umeå, in a family with a strong tradition with folk and dance music on accordion, he came in contact with this music at an early age.

The majority of the songs on Visa från Dorotea stems from the folk musician Sören Johansson, a nestor in folk music from Västerbotten but also an early playmate of Forsén.

Visa från Dorotea also contains compositions by Forsén that are inspired by the folk music he grew up with.

It's no exaggeration to say that Arne Forsén has taken on the material on Visa från Dorotea in an utmost respectful way; first by playing the traditional way, on the fiddle, and then on the piano. By doing that he has approached the songs as faithfully as possible before moving on to sparse and economical arrangements that focus on the individual character of each song.

Forsén has been a central and versatile name on the Swedish jazz scene since the early 80's and he has moved from jazz within the tradition to freer forms. With Brus Trio he cooperated with Roscoe Mitchell and John Tchicai, he has been active on the international improvisational scene, with Phil Minton and Paul Lovens among others, and for many years he collaborated with the kora master Jali Alagi M'Bye from Gambia.

As early as 1987 Arne Forsén received the memorial scholarship of Swedish jazz's foremost pianist Jan Johansson, well-known among other things for his then and still revolutionary renditions of Swedish folk music in the 60s. That planted a seed within Arne Forsén - to make a solo record with folk music played on the piano. Now it's here, Visa från Dorotea (Song from Dorotea).