Mezzoforte (band)

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Mezzoforte in Frankfurt am Main, 2012. Left to right: Johann Asmundsson, Oskar Gudjonsson, Eythor Gunnarsson, Sebastian Studnitzky, Bruno Müller, Gulli Briem.

Mezzoforte is an instrumental jazz-funk fusion band from Iceland, formed in 1977.[1]

They signed a record deal with Icelandic label Steinar.[1] Their biggest hit single was "Garden Party" (1983), taken from their fourth album (second international release) Surprise Surprise.[1] It peaked at number 17 in the UK Singles Chart. The famous solo that takes place two minutes into "Garden Party", was created and played on the flugelhorn by English trumpeter, Stephen Dawson. [2] "Garden Party" was later covered by Herb Alpert, at a slower speed than the original, apparently as he had learned the track from the single played at the wrong speed.[1] Another single, "Rockall" spent one week at number 75 in the same listing in June that year, and was used as a signature tune by several European radio chart shows.[1][2]

The band was named after the traditional musical term mezzo forte, an instruction to play literally "moderately loud".

Band members[edit]

Original line-up from 1977:

  • Eyþór Gunnarsson – Keyboards
  • Jóhann Ásmundsson – Bass
  • Gunnlaugur Briem-Gulli Briem (Gulli) – Drums
  • Friðrik Karlsson (Frissi) – Guitar

Other members, present and past:

  • Bruno Müller – Guitar (2005-present)
  • Sebastian Studnitzky – Trumpet & keyboards (2005-2014)
  • Thomas Dyani – Percussion (2004-present)
  • Jonas Wall – Saxophones (2013-present)
  • Staffan William-Olsson – Guitar (2003-2004)
  • Joel Palsson – Saxophones (2003)
  • Guðmundur Pétursson – Guitar (2003)
  • Óskar Guðjónsson – Saxophones (1996-2003, 2005-2013)
  • Kåre Kolve - Saxophonees (1991-1994)
  • Rolf Graf - Bass guitar (1989, 2003-2008)
  • Björn Thorarensen – Synthesizers (1980-1982)
  • Kristinn Svavarsson – Saxophones (1982-1985)
  • David O'Higgins – Saxophones (1985-1989, 2002-2004)
  • Jeroen De Rijk – Percussion (1984-1986)

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Mezzoforte (1979)
  • I Hakanum (Octopus) (1980)
  • Thvilikt og annad eins (Dreamland) (1982)
  • Surprise Surprise (1982) - UK #23[2]
  • Sprellifandi - Live at the Dominion (1983)
  • Observations (1984)
  • Rising (1984)
  • No Limits (1986)
  • Playing for Time (1989)
  • Daybreak (1993)
  • Monkey Fields (1996)
  • Forward Motion (2004)
  • Live In Reykjavik (2007)
  • Volcanic (November 2010)
  • Islands (July 2012)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Catching up with Mezzoforte - Early Recordings (1983) - UK #95[2]
  • The Saga so far (1985)
  • Fortissimos (1991)
  • Garden Party Time (1999)
  • Anniversary Edition (2007)

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Larkin, Colin (1997) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0159-7, p. 321
  2. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 362. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.