Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band - Fnykur - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band – Fnykur


Published May 31, 2007

Only 7 years out of music school, Samúel Jón Samúelsson
has already built an accomplished resume. A graduate of
the prominent Tónlistarskóli FíH, the composer has done arrangements
for Sigur Rós, Sálin, Reykjavík Big Band, and Trabant
and has been a key player in the annual Reykjavik Jazz
Festival. On his myspace is a picture of him with James Brown
(RIP), who SJS backed up with his other funk band Jagúar. His
magic is pretty apparent: as complex as the arrangements on
Fnykur are, they never become overwhelming. Sometimes
songs switch directions and go into new territory, but for
the most part, they are straightforward funk, with blaring
brass arrangements, bubbly bass lines, and choking electric
guitar spurts. While nothing on Fnykur stands out, it’s clear
why he’s so respected in Iceland. It’s not uncommon to see
the American influence in a lot of Icelandic music, but you’ve
got to hand it to the guy who spawns the Icelandic ‘Funk’
genre.


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