“You may not know how to pronounce Johan’s last name, but once you hear the wonderful sound of his guitar, you won’t forget him. I have known Johan for many years around the Berlin scene, and I’ve always been impressed with his natural musicality on the guitar. He’s self-taught, and his style has many elements to it, drawing from influences old and new, yet always feeling fresh and open, present in the moment.”
– Kurt Rosenwinkel
On September 10th, 2021, Kurt Rosenwinkel’s independent label Heartcore Records released Harlem Nocturne, a new album of Swedish jazz guitarist Johan Leijonhufvud and his trio JLT.
Together with Finish double bass player Johnny Åman and Swedish drummer Niclas Campagnol, Johan Leijonhufvud brings music with an intimate atmosphere and a friendly interplay. Besides two original tracks composed by the guitarist, the album includes eight songs from various authors, a repertoire from jazz classics to rock ballads, written over five decades on three different continents. Yet, despite the variety of the sources, the chemistry of the band creates a cohesive aesthetic.
The bandleader spoke of Harlem Nocturne from his home in Berlin: “I heard a story when I was a young child. It was a spellbinding story, told in magic, beautiful language I never heard before. It came from my parents’ vinyl player. I think that’s when I became a musician. I just had to learn that language and tell that magic story. On my new album Harlem Nocturne, I had the great pleasure of working with two other amazing storytellers. We began to meet and play during the lockdown in spring 2020 in a cottage in the middle of nowhere in southern Sweden. I felt very comfortable with Johnny and Niclas, with their experience and knowledge and their honest ambition to tell another story with me.”
Harlem Nocturne is the perfect album to put on while having an enjoyable dinner, gathering with your friends, covid safe of course, or an intimate romantic evening with the person you love. It is an album for lovers, family, and friends. Its warm and inviting ambiance can set the tone for many beautiful memories.
Sometimes in jazz it seems like musicians forget that music is for people. Johan Leijonhufvud has always been a musician who connects with his audience. I witness it every time I see him play. It is this bringing together of people that Heartcore Records is all about. Check out this album. I think you will agree.
The album is available as a CD, digital download on the label’s website and all streaming platforms at Heartcore Records’ shop.
Johan Leijonhufvud – guitar
Johnny Åman – acoustic bass
Niclas Campagnol – drums
Produced by Kurt Rosenwinkel
Recorded at Lowswing Studio, Berlin 2020
Recording engineer Guy Sternberg
Recording Assistant Benedikt Vogt
Mixed by Charis Karantzas, Berlin 2021
Mastered by Douglas Henderson at Micro-Moose-Berlin 2021
Production coordination and Artwork by Michaela Bóková, Heartcore Records 2021
Released on Heartcore Records, Berlin 2021 (HCR12)
JLT – Johan Leijonhufvud Trio – Harlem Nocturne
Follow Johan Leijonhufvud on:
Heartcore Records: https://heartcore-records.com/artists/johan-leijonhufvud-trio