Mean Steel is a tough band that plays tough music by tough composers. The band has also got a tough band name. Mean Steel plays music that is written for them by pre-dominantly northern Norwegian composers.
Their total lack of insight towards their own musical limits, combined with a fear of saying “no” to composers who is making sport out of testing limits towards the impossible, has given the two musicians close to acrobatic challenges in playing multiple instruments simultaneously - at times almost like a quartet made of four half musicians.
Hans-Urban Andersson, a part of LiNN - the Regional Musicians Scheme in Northern Norway through “Musikk i Nordland”, has his background from the Swedish dance band Curt Jürgens. They were frequently at the top of the Swedish music charts in the 70s. That´s how he managed to save up enough money to buy a cello so that he could study at the Music Conservatory in Gothenburg, Sweden. Already back then he performed his first duet with saxophone and cello; with Stan Getz, the world famous saxophone player, when he was visiting the jazz festival in Halmstad.
It would take close to another 40 years until Hans-Urban again would join a new duet with saxophone and cello. This time with Ola Asdahl Rokkones on saxophones. Ola is an independent musician living in Tromsø, making his living playing both classical, jazz and folk music. At one moment he is playing a gig in a far away fjord, the next he is a soloist with a big symphony orchestra. He has released 7 albums ranging over a wide spectrum of genres. In his spare time Ola likes to experiment on new ways to play saxophone.
Left channel: Hans-Urban Andersson, on cello, baritone sax, clarinet, drums and vocals
Right channel: Ola Asdahl Rokkones, on tenor- and baritone sax, saxophone without mouthpiece, drums, and double saxophone.
“Scener fra et nabolag” (track 2) also features tape.
Composers: Torbjørn Ingvaldsen (tracks 1 & 8), Lars Skoglund (track 2), Erik Stifjell (track 3), Erik H. Halvorsen (track 4), Rune Larsen (track 5), Bjørn Breimo (track 6 ), and Ola A. Rokkones (tracks 7 & 9).
The album is produced and mixed by Are Bredahl Simonsen. Mastered by Martin Bowitz.