the year 1992 - August 31.
Article in Dagens Nyheter, Thursday September 3. 1992
Translated by Dag Sirnes:
Silje best on her own
Venue: Castle Hotel, Stockholm
Group: Mats Holmquist with Stora Stygga, guest artist Silje Nergaard
Monday nights, big band jazz and guest artists - Johnny Olsson started the tradition in Stockholm and now it is carried on by Mats Holmquist. For the rest of the year, Holmquist and his Stora Stygga will back up well-known artists at Castle Hotel. Among the guests are Tommy Körberg, Monica Zetterlund, Sharon Dyall, Janne Schaffer and Lill Lindfors.
The premiere night featured the singer Silje Nergaard, or simply Silje as she wants to be called.
The young Norwegian has become a big name in Japan with her jazz-influenced pop. Her voice has traces of Rickie Lee Jones and Corinne Drewery from Swing out Sister. It was in the slightly more laid-back numbers with her own piano accompaniment that Silje did best. A fine-tuned version of "Long and winding road" was one of the highlights of the evening.
Mats Holmquist also offered Beatles music when he and the big band were alone on stage. The repertoire is very varied and took us from Lennon / McCartney's ''When I'm sixtyfour'' via standard songs like ''Early Autumn'' to modern material by Lyle Mays and Chick Corea.
In several of Holmquist's own compositions, the band had the opportunity to show themselves in difficult, unison section gigs.
And the only girl in the band, trumpeter Ann-Sofie Söderquist, offered a beautiful flugelhorn solo in "One million circumstances", the title track from the band's only album.
Stora Stygga has received many praises after performances at the major international jazz festivals. And the band is undeniably high class, especially considering the scarce financial conditions it is forced to play under.
But as one of the band members answered the question why you line up and play an evening with a salary of 50 bucks.
''It's worth it when you get to try challenges like Mats' songs and arrangements. At least if the alternative is to torment oneself through In the Mood for the fifty-eleventh time.''