Mezzoforte

Genres: Jazz
Decades Active: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

Until the arrival of the Sugarcubes, jazz fusion band Mezzoforte was Iceland’s best-known musical export. The group was formed in 1977 at a Reykjavik high school by Fridrik Karlsson (24 April 1960; guitar), Eythór Gunnarsson (b. 9 September 1961; keyboards), Jóhann Ásmundsson (b. 30 March 1961; bass), and Gunnlaugur Briem (b. 8 September 1962; drums). They signed a recording contract with local label Steinar, and with the assistance of Stefán S. Stefánsson (saxophone) recorded their debut album. Bjorn Thorarensen (keyboards) joined in time for the recording of the band’s second long-player. Kristinn Svavarsson (saxophone) was featured on the exuberant ‘Garden Party’, which was a Top 20 hit in the UK in 1983. The tune was covered in the USA by Herb Alpert who performed it at half-speed, reportedly because he had learned the piece from a 45 rpm single accidentally played at 33. The follow-up, ‘Rockall’,...

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