Full Translation of Swedish Reviews:
“Among wind instruments in Jazz it is not often the flute plays a lead role throughout an entire record. But in Elsa Nilsson’s musical world it does, she plays flute in all sizes and has composed most of the pieces on the album. You can read about her that she was raised in Gothenburg, Sweden with a Californian hippie mother and as a result has one foot on two completely different molds. In her musical world that we meet on “Salt Wind” there are clear influences from folk and world music.
On the album she is joined by Jeff McLaughlin on Guitars, Alex Minier alternating between acoustic and electric bass and Cody Rahn on drums and percussion; musicians who get a whole lot of different expressions to work with in Elsa Nilssons arrangements. Latin, nordic and even pop influences are part of this albums musical life. The flute playing switches between faster rhythmic ideas, sometimes in many layers, and slower painting like strokes. Across from the flute the guitarist gets a lot of solo space, something he takes full advantage of. Elsa Nilsson also sings on a few tracks, among them the rocky “Hedning”, which doesn’t really fit in the context. Other than that most of the compositions are good, some even splendid, particularly the languishing ballads.”
Andreas Lagercrantz, Lira Musikmagasin
“Elsa Nilsson, a well educated musician, features the instrument of the flute in a extremely pleasant way. Her music is warm with a tactile sense of emotional empathy, without exaggerations. She also uses both the alto and the bass flute, in all cases with beautiful results. Of the eight melodies she has composed five. The rest have been pulled from the Swedish song treasure with among others a lovely version of “Byssan Lull” where she herself sings Evert Taubs lyrics. In the subtle emotional storytelling there are silhouettes of melancholy, maybe also regret? Something that is strengthened by her slightly sensual tone on the instrument. By her side she has three skillful musicians where guitarist Jeff McLaughlin pulls the heaviest load. In the fourth melody entitled “Hedning” the drummer Cody Rahn steps forward and drives the music forward, without upsetting the groove. This is a peculiar element where even sings lyrics written together with Elizagrace Madrone. In “Staffansvisan” bassist Alex Minier steps up to the soloist microphone and bows a sublime solo. Something that really brings out that melodies particular qualities. In this piece Elsa Nilsson also plays a gorgeous improvisation that makes the melody even stronger. A beautifully produced album where the flute dominates in both low and high registers.”
Leif Wigh, Orkesterjournalen
“Hard Pulsating and Clear Flute Music
Flute is not the instrument people first associate with Jazz.
But there is certainly a jazz flute tradition with greats like Hubert Laws, James Newton, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Yusef Lateef, James Moody and Eric Dolphy. And a drove more.
The Swedish-American Flutist Elsa Nilsson fits right in with this company. She is currently based in Brooklyn, New York, established as a teacher and internationally touring artist and her new album is a beautifully varied story.
First and foremost Elsa Nilsson puts real power behind her compositions and arrangements and delivers well thought out and melodic songs with long melody lines and many different directions to take.
And there is a breadth to the sounds, swing and styles as well. You will find tingling Latin Jazz with layers of overdubbed flutes, Swedish Classics “Uti Vår Hage” and “Byssan Lull”, light-footed funk and melancholy newly written ballads.
The tune “Hedning” sticks out, Nilsson and her bands own heavy interpretation of the new trend of rockified Swedish Folkmusic, with emotionally strong singing by Elsa Nilsson, I’m guessing inspired by Emma Härdelin.
This music demands open, responsive and versatile musicians for this sort of melting pot and american Jeff McLaughlin, guitar, Alex Minier, bass, and Cody Rahn, drums, fit this description perfectly.
Elsa Nilsson switches between flutes of all sizes and is as skilled at clear melodic communication as she is at fast flowing improvised lines. But, her biggest feat is the whole – a genuinely personal and original album.”
Alexander Agrell – Sydsvenskan
“The flute is really a rather strange instrument, adaptable but always with strong integrity. Regardless if it’s Eric Dolphy or Roland Kirk who took it with them into Jazz, Ian Anderson who gave Jethro Tulls progressive rock its distinctive character through the use of it or Severino Gazzelloni who gave it a strikt sharpness in both Debussys and Bruno Madernas compositions the flute can never be free from its emotional connotations. This is both its greatest strength and biggest limitation.
With the flute as a tool Elsa Nilsson tries to bind together lots of different types of music. She wants to find the similarities and combine them across the genregaps, and it is not strange that she simultaneously works in duo, quartet and quintet settings. “Salt Wind” moves in different distances but always visible from Jazz, Folkmusic and even pop. The record is released under Elsa Nilssons own name, but the guitarist Jeff McLaughlin carries as big of a role as Nilsson herself. It is very soft and cosy, with the track “Hedning” being the only one that roars its way out. This tracks heavy beat comes as a complete surprise and is almost misplaced. This in and of itself points to the big weakness for “Salt Wind”. The album is skillfully executed in every way, with a very clear and well formulated vision, but it is so snuggly and pleasant that it becomes uninteresting to listen too. Phrased differently you could say that “Salt Wind” falls in the trap of the emotional connotations I mentioned at the beginning.”
Peter Sjöblom, Mono Magasin