Petter Eldh's explosive ensemble Koma Saxo continues their adventures with a new album "Koma West", out on We Jazz Records, 18 March 2022. The album sees Koma Saxo expand on their previous sound with the addition of vocalist Sofia Jernberg and a strong cast of featured artists, including cellist Lucy Railton, violinist Maria Reich, pianist Kit Downes and accordionist Kiki Eldh (Petter's mom!). The hard-hitting key quintet remains, including Eldh on bass and assorted instruments, Christian Lillinger on drums, plus saxophonists Otis Sandsjö (of Y-OTIS), Jonas Kullhammar and Mikko Innanen bringing the SAXO to the KOMA operation.
At 14 tracks, "Koma West" is a full menu of monumental compositional ideas that could spawn entire albums. True to his chop & go production style, Eldh relies on continuous movement while presenting another all killer no filler program taking Koma Saxo on a sonic outing not quite like anything that had previously appeared under the band's name. That being said, there's very much the Petter Eldh touch here, one which might be hard to pinpoint and verbalise, but nevertheless a recognisable style of composing, producing and arranging.
Thematically, the album is rooted in the West Coast of Sweden, where Eldh grew up – he's from a tiny town called Lysekil. There's a thread of Swedish folk song tradition that has been part of the Koma Saxo DNA from the get-go and you can hear that here as well, especially on cuts such as "Närhet", beautifully sung by Sofia Jernberg.
Petter Eldh says:
"In a way, it's a concept album and a celebration of the Swedish West Coast. The first single is called 'Koma Kaprifol', and kaprifol is the landscape flower of Bohuslän on the West coast, where I grew up. I'm not too wild about attaching strong narratives to my music but there's no way around it this time. The oysters, a common snack around the coast, are a strong conceptual presence here. Anyway, they seem to pop up here and there quite often already thus far in the Koma Saxo narrative, even though it's not always so obvious. Koma Vocals! Koma Strings! I love the presence of Sofia Jernberg here and I love writing string arrangements, too, although I never thought I would do it for Koma, but of course, Koma should have some strings, why not?. Koma Saxo should and can become anything."