Wednesday, December 2, 2015

ESTONIA: Maigroup-You (2015)

Maigroup | You 

Second studio album consisting of 10 original compositions by the bassist and the band leader Mai Agan. Her music is very confessional and fragile under the surface of strong melodies, beautifully crooked harmonies and hip grooves.
Mai Agan (born 1988) is an Estonian electric bass player, composer and arranger. Her tireless work ethic, astonishing creativity, open-mindness as a musician and versatility has raised her name among Scandinavian top musicians. Agan is hailed as a stylistic chameleon, moving effortlessly from pop and funk to jazz and blues. Agan is mostly known for her work with Estonian pop sensation KERLI, Swedish singer-songwriter Linnea Henriksson and her own jazz-fusion group MaiGroup that she formed in 2010 from the most remarkable Swedish young musicians. Agan has also collaborated with Håkan Broström, Carola Häggkvist; Philip Hamilton (Mike Stern “Voices”, Pat Metheny Group), Anders Widmark, Tiit Paulus, Lembit Saarsalu, Tönis Mägi, Ain Agan, Riho Sibul, Jaak Johanson, Toomas Rull, Teele Viira, Doug Seegers, Anders Johansson, Magnus Lindgren, Stockholm Strings, Norrbotten Big Band etc. In 2012 she joined “Estonian bass maffia” Aces of Basses. In November 2013 she was recording in Turin, Italy, with Alessia Mattalia (Mattalia appears on Jeff Beck’s album “Emotion & Commotion” 2010). Back from Italy Agan joined Swedish popstar Linnea Henriksson’s band and toured extensively in Scandinavia 2014 and beginning of 2015. Back from touring, she is again focusing on her own music, but remains very much in-demand. In June 2015 she joined one of the most accomplished big bands in Sweden - New Places Orchestra, led by Swedish saxophone legend, composer & arranger Håkan Broström. Discovering musical kindred spirits in each other - Mai and Håkan formed a new jazz-fusion group Agan/Broström Spirit together and their debut concert at Stockholm Jazz Festival 2015 was ranked as no 1 highlight by Svenska Dagbladet and it was recorded by the Swedish Radio.

Mai was born and raised in Kuressaare, on an island Saaremaa, Estonia. She played the violin for 8 years and first touched the bass at the age of 16. It was a moment of recognition. Estonian “Jazz King” Tiit Paulus became her new teacher in 2004 and they played together in a band 2+2=5. Agan started playing with the great masters in an early age since Tiit Paulus often invited his friends to play with 2+2=5 (Ain Agan, Lembit Saarsalu, Jaak Sooäär etc). 2007-2010 she continued her studies in Georg Ots Tallinn Music School where Raul Vaigla became her teacher. He had been Mai’s favorite musician for years (he still is!) so these years with Mr. Vaigla were extremely inspiring. He has stayed by her side as a good friend and a supporter. 2010-2011 she studied at Skurups Folkhögskola, 2011-2014 The Royal College of Music in Stockholm and right now is continuing her studies at the master program, under the supervision of local bass gurus Jan Adefelt, Micke Berglund and finally Palle Danielsson, perhaps most notable for his work done with Keith Jarrett from 1974-1979, becoming a member of his European quartet for that period.

In April 2010 Mai Agan won the best instrumentalist prize on Uno Naissoo Compostions Contest.