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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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NILS LANDGREN

The Moon, The Stars and You

Act 9505-2

 

 


1. Moonshadow
2. The Moon, The Stars and You
3. Oh You Crazy Moon
4. Joe's Moonblues
5. Angels of Fortune
6. Moon River
7. Til' There Was You
8. Stars in Your Eyes
9. Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends
10. The Moon's a Harsh Mistress
11. Holofotes
12. Lost in the Stars

Nils Landgren - Trombone, vocals
Michael Wollny - Piano (tracks 1-5, 7, 8, 9)
Joe Sample - Piano (track 4)
Jonas Ostholm - Piano (track 12)
Johan Norberg - Guitar (tracks 1, 6)
Dan Berglund - Bass (track 1)
Lars Danielsson - Bass (tracks 2-10)
James Genus - Bass (track 11)
Christian Spering - Bass (track 12)
Andr‚ Ferrari - Drums, percussion (track 1)
Rasmus Kihlberg - Drums (tracks 2, 3, 7, 10)
Kiko Freitas - Drums (track 11)
Robert Ikiz - Drums (track 12)
Joao Bosco - Guitar, vocals (track 11)
Richard Galliano - Accordion (tracks 1, 6)
Steve Gadd - Drums (tracks 4, 5, 9)
Caecilie Norby - Vocals (track 5)
Sharon Dyall, Jeanette K”hn, Rigmor Gustafsson, Jessica Pilnäs, Ida Sand, Viktoria Tolstoy - Backing vocals (track 8)
NDR Big Band (track 10)
Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (track 12)

 

Nils Landgren knows how to reach a man's heart - at least, this man - by using some special guests who include some of my favourite artists. These number Richard Galliano, Joe Sample and Steve Gadd. In truth they don't get to do much, and they are only on a few tracks. Sample and Gadd join in on Joe's Moonblues, where they accompany Nils Landgren's gruff trombone in a funky blues and Joe Sample plays an elegant piano solo. Steve Gadd is also on Angels of Fortune, backing Caecilie Norby's lugubrious vocals. Yet there seems little point in inviting "special guests" if you don't give them something special to do.

Richard Galliano is allowed to do more, using his accordion to add atmospheric contributions to a couple of tracks. Richard punctuates Nils' vocals lyrically on Cat Stevens' Moonshadow. Moon River doesn't have quite the necessary poignancy in the hands of Nils Landgren's trombone but Galliano's swirling solo evokes the right mood.

Of the other tracks, Michael Wollny contributes a beautifully fluid piano solo to Til' There Was You, and Herbie Hancock's Stars in Your Eyes is given a nice dynamic rhythm. Jimmy Webb's The Moon's a Harsh Mistress and Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars have opulent orchestral backings, arranged by Vince Mendoza. Brazilian singer Joao Bosca brings a lilting South American spirit to his own composition Holofotes.

Landgren is an accomplished trombonist and his vocals mix world-weariness with little-boy innocence, but you can have too much of his singing. He's closer to a pop singer than a jazz vocalist.

Although it doesn't use its famous guests to the best advantage, this is an agreeable album with a clever starry concept.

Tony Augarde

www.augardebooks.co.uk



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