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The first notes are cautious, respectful, aware of the emotions to come. Slowly a melody emerges, a gentle wave, drums breathe softly in the background before you find yourself running towards the sounds of the sea. “Open Waters” is the name of this song by Jacob Karlzon and it is hard to resist his call to the deep. The piano evokes a sea you can almost see, smell and hear. A sea that suddenly grabs you, pulling you in until you’re in “Open Waters” and at the mercy of elemental forces both fascinating and dangerous.

The Swedish jazz pianist and composer Jacob Karlzon likes such interpretations of his music. He creates music for the inner film in his head. This latest album was recorded in January and he says: “I’m happy when people interpret my music this way. I really do want to take them emotionally out to sea, into a situation where they have to decide in which direction they want to swim.”

The album came about in a very intuitive way preceded by a long period of reflection. With Morten Ramsbøl on bass and Rasmus Kihlberg on drums, Karlzon recorded this album, like previous ones, in the Nilento Studio in Göteborg with his producer Lars Nilsson.

“Note to Self perfectly embodies my intuitive way of working” explains Karlzon “by just letting things happen”. The song is a note to self, written in twenty minutes. It’s a contemplation of his own subconscious, of the melody driving his thoughts and feelings at the piano just at that moment. “At the end I asked myself: Where did that come from?”

Every creative person has had moments like this and knows how addictive they can be. “That’s where I wanted to go” says Karlzon. “When you make music professionally for years, you might start to think a bit too technically and sometimes forget the kick these moments can give”.
The way it feels is as if something higher or something deeper is playing through you, a note to self that you don’t have to decipher on your own, but with the people who are listening to you or playing with you. It’s a crazy energy” he says and when you find yourself immersed in his “Open Waters”, you’ll have to agree with him. The nine songs on the album all contain this energy, even if they have been re-worked, produced, compressed or digitalised.

Stylistically and musically, Jacob Karlzon is a well-travelled man. He’s a classical pianist but has shared a stage with big names in jazz such as Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, Billy Cobham among others. He forayed into the world of heavy metal with his album “More”, 2012, and in his last album “Now”, he allowed electronic elements to set the pulse. No wonder he prefers to describe himself as an alternative musician.

“Look What You Made Me Do”, from “Open Waters” illustrates his development. It begins with a powerful drumbeat followed by the piano with an atmospheric theme before gradually, in tandem with the bass becoming more and more erratic. In the final thrusts of the song you are thrown back and forth with a force unusual for this genre.

Karlzon loves such moments of surprise, whether it comes while listening to the whole album, or during one of his concerts, or with a song that has wormed its way onto a playlist.
“The best thing that can happen to you as an artist is to play for people who didn’t know your music before but who are then willing to engage with it.”

To really feel what Jacob Karlzon wants to tell us, it’s enough to listen to “How it Ends” or “Ever Changing” or “Panorama” or because it’s so fitting, “Motion Picture”.
Let Jacob Karlzon provide the score for your inner film and be taken on a very surprising journey.


1. Open Waters
2. Secret Rooms
3. Motion Picture
4. Slave to Grace
5. Ever Changing
6. Look What You Made Me Do
7. How It Ends
8. Panorama
9. Note To Self

All music composed by Jacob Karlzon
Produced by Jacob Karlzon & Lars Nilsson

Jacob Karlzon – piano, synths, fender rhodes
Morten Ramsbøl – bass
Rasmus Kihlberg – drums