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Bebop Spoken There

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12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Saturday, August 20, 2011

CD Review: The Moon, The Stars and You - Nils Landgren

Nils Landgren (tmb/vcl); Michael Wollney (pno); Lars Dannielsson (bs); Rasmus Kihlberg (dms).
Special guests - Joe Sample (pno); Joao Bosco (gtr/vcl); Richard Galliano (acc); Steve Gadd (dms); Caecillie Norby (vcl); NDR Big Band; Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.
I knew of Landgren as an ace trombone player, of his association with Joe Sample's Jazz Crusaders and his own Funk Unit but somehow his talents as a ballad singer had passed me by which is why I welcome this new release.
To dedicate an album to the moon isn't totally original Frank gave us Moonlight Sinatra and Mel Tormé did Swingin' on the Moon. Landgren however, includes the stars too in the equation which gives him even more scope and room for originality.
The voice is pleasing - rather like Sting in his jazzier moments - with a husky edge to it ideally suited for standards such as Oh You Crazy Moon, Lost in the Stars and Till There Was You. I'm not quite sure how this latter title qualifies apart from the line There were birds in the sky. Please tell me if I'm missing something here! That aside, it's a great vocal track.
Instrumentally, Moon River has some nice slightly edgy trombone and Galliano's accordian brings almost a blue harp feel to it. Joe Sample and Steve Gadd push Nils along a bit on Joe's Moonblues.
Langdren himself wrote The Moon, the Stars and You, Moonshadow is a Cat Stevens tune, Jimmy Webb provided The Moon is a Harsh Mistress whilst Joao Bosco sang and played guitar on Holofotes.
There are many more delights to be found on this CD which is due for release on Sept. 5.
Lance.
The Moon, the Stars and You - Nils Landgren. ACT9505-2 - LC 07644.

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