Sydney-based singer-pianist Bonnie J. Jensen and her trio's residency in the Captain's Bar at the Mandarin Oriental hotel is drawing to its close - July 4 is the last night - and it's worth dropping in, not just for the leader but also for the estimable Swedish rhythm section of bassist Palle Sollinger and drummer Par Jaktelius. Visiting artists playing gigs in Hong Kong hotels and other venues usually have to make do with a local rhythm section. This is often no great hardship, as Jensen found during a previous residency at the InterContinental. There are some great players available here. On the other hand, there's much to be said for working with musicians you already know well. In this instance, the budget was there for a trio with whom she had previously worked in Stockholm, and the two Swedes have made a considerable contribution to the residency's success. Sollinger has also used the Hong Kong opportunity to release his latest CD, Concord, by Krokodil, a duo in which he plays with guitarist Klas Gullbrand. It's now available from Jazzworld in Central (jazzworldcds.com). Sollinger is a classically-trained bassist and a graduate of Stockholm's Royal College of Music. Having worked as a gigging and studio musician in Sweden, he established himself in the German jazz scene after he moved to Berlin in 2003. Gullbrand, a Royal Swedish Academy of Music graduate, has a background in pop and experimental music as well as jazz. 'Krokodil gives us both as musicians and writers a safe haven under which we can operate, and do what we feel like, more or less,' Sollinger says. 'The concept, if you will, is to make music with strong melodies and ... for us to express ourselves more freely.' Concord is somewhat pastoral in mood and well worth listening to. As a bassist, Sollinger is fluid, inventive and propulsive when he needs to be, although the duo has enlisted the aid of drummer Ola Hultgren for many of these tracks. Gullbrand has clearly listened to his Bill Frisell, and plays with something of the same melodic spaciness. 'Our influences range over a big proportion of music history,' says Sollinger. 'From Morricone to Radiohead, from Salif Keita to the contemporary jazz players of today. Of course, both of us have listened to a lot of 'older' jazz - Miles [Davis], [John] Coltrane, [Wayne] Shorter, Keith Jarrett and so on. 'Currently, we are working on new material and looking forward to playing more in and around Sweden. We both feel that coming to Asia to play would be great, and we will try to make that happen as soon as possible.' For a sound overview of the best of local modern jazz and related areas of music, the place to go on Thursday, Friday and Saturday is the Foreign Correspondents' Club, which opens to non-members for the FCC Jazz and Blues Festival 2009, featuring performances by artists including Japan's Yuki Makita, Singapore's Paul Ponnudorai and locally based jazz musicians Allen Youngblood, Eugene Pao, Cary Abrams, Brigitte Mitchell and Skip Moy. For details, call 2521 1511.