Back again with another post this time about a band from Iceland!! Yes Iceland i’m not kidding here. Guess not so many outside Europe have heard about these guys. The band was formed 1977 in Reykjavik the capitol on Iceland and their music is Jazz/Funk/Fusion with great and well arranged melodies and harmonies.
The 4 founding members who still are the core are Fridrik Karlsson (guitar), Eythor Gunnarsson (keyboards), Johann Asmundsson (bass), Gunnlaugur a/k/a Gulli Briem (drums). They met at high school and eventually got a deal with local label Steinar. On their selftitled recording they were assisted by Stefán S. Stefánsson (saxophone).
Left to right: Eythor Gunnarsson, Johann Asmundsson, Fridrik Karlssson, Gulli Briem all at early age 🙂
The band’s perhaps most famous song and biggest hit are “Garden Party” from 1983. That song was later covered by american artist Herp Albert who rearranged it some. That song was taken from the “Surprise Surprise” album, picture below.
They continued recording throughout the 80:s and the truth to tell some albums sounds very dated now. However they were products of it’s time and the sound of the 80:s was kinda “overproduced” and didn’t always sounded naturally. Thou some songs sounds a lot like super group Earth, Wind & Fire sounded in the early 80:s.
I mentioned the core in the beginning but on their albums and tours they’ve been using or been assisted by many other musicians. On the “Playing For Time” album from 1989 we find some really bad cats!! The main recording took place in Reykjavik but some additional recordings took place in L.A. The american cats were trumpet player/arranger Jerry Hey and his horn section consisting of Gary Grant (trumpet), Bill Reichenbach (trombone), Larry Williams (saxophone) plus 2 other sax men Ernie Watts and Steve Tavaglione. The latter one is featured on the song i’ve choosed.
In general Mezzoforte is not that slick but as always some songs are mostly their 80:s stuff are more slick than the stuff they’ve made after 1989. The name is a musical term and it means play moderately loud. There’s a reason why they are today’s band cause tonite they’re playing in my town!!
This somewhat blurry picture shows the band about 1 year ago when they last time played at the Nefertiti Jazz Club in Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden.
So enjoy your listening with “High Season” with Mezzoforte!!
Tags: #worldofslickmusic #mezzoforte #eythorgunnarsson #fridrikkarlsson #johannasmundsson #gullibriem #earthwindandfire #jerryhey #garygrant #billreichenbach #larrywilliams #stevetavaglione