Knez Rosén – Ten Handmade Pieces (Sugarbeat It 2011, SBI 5)

From Sweden, Knez Rosén is Igor Knez and Hans Rosén. Knez migrated to Sweden as a 12 year old, where improvised jazz and the traces of melancholia in Swedish folk music deepened his musical tastes. As a young man in the 70’s/90’s Knez was a guitarist in a number of bands playing acoustic and electronic music combining jazz, rock, funk and folk music. Rosén’s first musical memories are of his mother and grandmother singing folk songs, and as a teenager in the late 70’s, punk rock lit a flame that still remains. From that time on Rosén has played with a number of bands with music styles from vibrant rock to afro and reggae.

MASS: Some Hans Rosén percussion and Igor Knez guitar…instrumental loveliness and oddness…slow, still and whimsical…cool guitar noises which in my book are as interesting as actual guitar “playing”. BIRDS: I don’t know if this is improvisation but very possibly. The guitar reminds me of the intro music to the HBO series “Deadwood”…bird noises…some nice bass playing by Hans Rosén. You can tell these guys are very experienced on their instruments. Is it just me or are guys very into this kind of music and women could care less??! Conjures up Ry Cooder. This has to be improv, you couldn’t write this stuff out!?! A LIGHT IN EVERY WINDOW: This one makes me imagine slave quarters in the 1800’s! Slow soulful guitar and voice, both by Hans Rosén. Like if Robert Johnson went avant-garde!! SLOW TRAIN: Starts out a bit too 70’s jazz fusion sounding for my liking! But good for what it is I reckon?! JULY RAIN: Nice rhythm and beat…turns into a blues thing with sung blues vocals by Rosén. Some percussion…this CD is hard for me to review because it’s not really experimental but it is improvisation. A lot of it is jazz rock which I’ve never had an interest in besides Bitches Brew. It’s kinda rock musician improv, which is well done with a nice full sound but is it art? And who’s keeping score? ON THE RIVER: Nice driving dreamy guitar riffage with percussion, conjures up Louisiana swamps which since these guys have probably never been in a Louisiana swamp means there must be a Swedish equivalent, maybe the Bosnian Swamp!?! EARLY ONE MORNING: I don’t really hear the punk influence these guys supposedly have except maybe their willingness to go outside the box with these songs! This one actually conjures up late 60’s psych…then the odd/gruff vocals that are telling a story. I guess this is Nina Knez on the backup vocals and Hans on the lead vocal. Pretty nice track…”when I was drunk a smile came to me again”. BLUE IN GREEN: Pretty acoustic guitar playing/melody…two guitars mixed together…very original folky sounding…very nice…maybe a little fern bar-ish. TUNNELS: The slow spaced out one…again, the duelling guitars in slow motion. These guys play very well together and have complimentary styles…very still, slow….then some acoustic guitar strum explosions…then back to the stillness and plinking. I wonder if they play out live much? It’s kinda jazz improv without being that original or super skilled. IN THE BAKERY CELLAR: Some weird clanking, I thought my CD player was malfunctioning. Then the strummed acoustic guitar and weird muffled growly vocals…oh, the clanking is Hans making drum sounds. Nice song title, brings up all sorts of strange images…”I saw heads talking to Alice in Wonderland”. Now some soaring electric guitar..this piece is different than the rest of the CD and could represent a whole new direction for Knez Rosén on a future release?!!?

For more info, visit: and

Reviewed by Carlton Crutcher

Comments are closed.