Med Betoning På Ljus


I take great pride in having owned and operated the first record label in the U.S.and to my knowledge the entire worldto release a CD from Swedish guitar great Janne Schaffer. Back in the summer of 1985, I had the great honor to fly to Sweden and meet Janne. When I returned from Sweden, a deal had been brokered and Janne sent my company, Breakthru’ Records the masters, which first became the Lp and cassette and then in early '86, the CD release for Janne’s 1985 classic Breakthru’ album Traffic. The album remains a masterpiece of instrumental fusion, especially for its era, and with my having sent out a hundred+ promo Lps (in the days before you could make CD in America and about ten years before CDR) the Traffic album did great on all the jazz charts and earned high marks in Billboard, Jazziz and more. My friend at MTV, Rick Krim was more than happy to show a great video Janne filmed for the lead off track “Flight 05” on their VH-1 / MTV New Age based "New Visions" music showa weekly video showcase for instrumental rock, jazz and New Age that fit in perfectly with the rise of music perpetuated by Breakthru' and other new record companies with names like Private Music and Windham Hill. Janne played with ABBA in the early years as their guitarist so that in itself is historic and anyway he’s a national treasure in Sweden and I’ll never forget watching him do some great concerts back in good old 1985first at a beautiful museum in the Swedish countryside with keyboardist Stefan Nilsson and also at a rowdy pub in Gamla Stan in Sweden. Prior to getting severely ripped off by both Intercon Music in New Jersey and Oxymoron P&D from Los Angeles—two companies who were among the very first independent American music company / distributors involved in manufacturing the CD, as a surrogate, so to speak, for independent labels during the historic founding days of the compact disc in 1985—I tried very hard with Breakthru’ to introduce some of the greatest ever Swedish instrumental music guitarists to the world market and in early 1986 Breakthru’ became the first independent American label to release instrumental rock CDs by some of the greatest Scandinavian and Finnish instrumental rock artists. It’s 25 years after that fabled summer of '85 now but I recently spoke to Janne in early 2010 and he was kind enough to send his latest two compilations for review. Med Betoning På Ljus features 16 cuts of pure Schaffer guitar excellence that perfectly distills the essence of Schaffer as both rock fusion guitarist and instrumental music composer. More recent tracks here from the summer of 2005 mix it up with several live tracks and assorted Schaffer instro jazz/rock chestnuts going back to the ‘90s and even the ‘70s. There’s even one killer vocal cut from ‘04 called “Diggin’ You”. Always recording with a solid group in the studio—including long time Swedish musical genius Björn J:Son Lindh and great drummers of the highest caliber like Per Lindvall—Schaffer is considered the Swedish version of Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and Hank Marvin all rolled into one dynamite guitar package. Plus, with his legacy going back to playing electric guitar on the early ABBA albums, Janne is no kid so be prepared to accept legacy as a matter of fact here. As if that CD isn’t enough there’s yet another Schaffer retrospective—a double CD set called Överblick that is equally brilliant with more great tracks along the same time eras. For fans of progressive instrumental jazz, pop and rock guitar instrumentals from Sweden that borders on history at this point, Janne Schaffer is still a noteworthy place to start. Thanks for the memories Janne! www.JanneSchaffer.se


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