Christmas with My Friends VI Nils Landgren
- 1Christmas Is02:59
- 2Oh No, It's Christmas Again02:35
- 3Who Comes This Night03:47
- 4Wie Soll Ich Dich Empfangen02:03
- 5Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth03:17
- 6Come One, Come All04:01
- 7What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?03:31
- 8The Story of Christmas02:58
- 9I Have a Dream02:59
- 10Merry Christmas Baby03:00
- 11Christmas Lullaby03:59
- 12When This Night Is Over03:56
- 13I'd Like You for Christmas03:05
- 14Hymn No III01:52
- 15Den Signade Dag03:25
- 16Hark! the Herald Angels Sing04:11
Info for Christmas with My Friends VI
Christmas without the songs – it's unthinkable. And yet how can one be open to different musical styles and also strike a good balance between them? How can all the right moods for the festive season be captured? Should it be classical or soulful, gospel or pop, blues or jazz?
The result can often be just one style of singing from one person – but that’s not the case with Nils Landgren's "Christmas With My Friends". A sequence which would normally have had to be patched together from a wide range of interpreters is all there, and from just the one source. Alongside the Swedish trombonist/singer himself, there are four vocalists, Jeanette Köhn, Ida Sand, Jessica Pilnäs and Sharon Dyall, and their fundamentally different voices allow them to combine many musical genres. The way these four co-exist so harmoniously is just one of the reasons why "Christmas With My Friends" has proved to be quite so popular and successful over the past twelve years. Accompanied by Eva Kruse on bass, Johan Norberg on guitar, and saxophonist Jonas Knutsson, the ensemble reinterprets Christmas songs from all over the world and in a jazz spirit, bringing together the well-known with the less familiar, combining the cheerful with the contemplative.
Soprano Jeanette Köhn sets the classical tone. She has been garlanded with all of the most important prizes in Sweden, including a Grammy. She also tends to be the singer who steps into the limelight for important official celebrations in Sweden such as the King's Birthday, the Nobel Prize Ceremony, Astrid Lindgren's funeral or the Royal Wedding in 2010. And she brings exactly that sense of occasion to "Christmas With My Friends", notably in the album's reflective conclusion with the Swedish traditional song "Den signade dag" and Mendelssohn's "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing". She is to be heard in delightful vocal duets with Nils Landgren – a medley from "Little Drummer Boy" and "Peace On Earth" – and also with Ida Sand in "Christmas Lullaby".
And mentioning Ida Sand, she is not only the pianist for this little Christmas ensemble, she also brings her bitter-sweet voice to it. For many years she has been one of the outstanding white soul voices in Europe, and is the perfect singer for the bluesy "Merry Christmas Baby", and for Dave Grusin's soul song "Who Comes This Night".
Jessica Pilnäs has a clear and bright timbre, hers is a disarmingly light voice, and she has a fine understanding of how jazz should flow. She caused a sensation in 2012 with a Peggy Lee tribute. She has exactly the right voice and attitude for standards like Frank Loesser's "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" and for her own composition "When This Night is Over".
The darkest vocal colour comes from Sharon Dyall. Daughter of a Swedish mother and Guyanan father, she grew up in London and Barbados and brings gospel and blues to the party. She made her name in musicals (as well as work in overdubbing, as a TV actress and as a speech teacher). Just watch the stage light up as she comes on to sing songs like Bobby Troup's "I'd Like You For Christmas" or Jonas Knutsson's "Come One, Come All".
And of course one must not forget our Master of Ceremonies himself, Nils Landgren. He doesn’t only make the trombone sing, he also has that unmistakable, throaty yet bright soul voice. He sets the Christmas cavalcade in motion with the opening piece "Christmas Is", on which he welcomes all of the others to join in.
"Christmas With My Friends VI" is a celebration, and everyone who enjoys exceptionally good Christmas songs from Bach to ABBA in new and characterful interpretations is most welcome to it. It is the perfect accompaniment for all situations and moods, and is to be enjoyed before, during and after the day itself. Everyone involved in it has been a part of this joyous Christmas music-making for a long time now – while the number of listeners feel who love to be part of it has kept on growing too. For all of these friends may it be a peaceful and very merry Christmas!
Nils Landgren, trombone, vocals
Sharon Dyall, vocals
Jonas Knutsson, saxophone
Jeanette Köhn, vocals
Eva Kruse, bass
Jessica Pilnäs, vocals
Ida Sandlund, vocals, piano
Johan Norberg, guitar
With his smoking, hard-hitting "Funk Unit", the man with the Red Horn has been responsible for a bunch of successful CDs over the past years. His concerts from Stockholm to Beijing have been met with ecstatic acclamation. In duo with pianist Esbjцrn Svensson, he has elevated Swedish folk music to the level of subdued works of art. As the artistic director of the 2001 Berlin Jazz Festival, designed a state of the art presentation of Scandinavian trends and moods. In May 2002 Nils was honored with the Tore Ehrling-prizeґ by the Swedish Society Of Popular Composers for "His outstanding contribution to spread swedish jazz music around the globe".
He is a world-class soloist and artist with heart and soul: Nils Landgren.
Jazz and church music shaped his childhood. As cornetist, Nils Landgren's father brought US jazz into the house. The traditional Swedish chorales and songs came from his grandfather, who was a preacher. Nils Landgren was born in 1956. He began playing drums at the age of six. At 13 he layed his hands and lips on the trombone and was hooked for life.
Between 1972 and 1978 Nils studied classical trombone at the music college in Karlstad with David Maytan and at the university in Arvika with Ingemar Roos. During this time he also met the legendary Swedish Folk-Jazz pioneer Bengt-Arne Wallin and the fantastic tromboneplayer and proffessor of the Graz Conservatory in Austria, Eje Thelin. These two men completely changed the way for Nils to go; from a strict classical player to an improviser with his own idea of what to play and why. After his graduation Nils moved to Stockholm to work as a professional tromboneplayer. First the life of a struggling jazz musician, making no money but gaining loads of experience. Then the call that totally changed his life: an offer to go on tour with Sweden's most successful pop star of that time Bjцrn Skifs who at that time was at #1 in the US pop charts with Hooked on a feelingґ. The money was ok, the vibes were cool and the band was simply great! Ever since that time Nils Landgren has been involved in a variety of music styles and projects. These include jazz, rock, soul, hip hop, big band's, studio sessions, and by his own reckoning, at least 500 albums. Mostly, for natural reasons with Swedish artists but also with such internationals stars as ABBA, The Crusaders, Eddie Harris, Bernard Prettyґ Purdie and Herbie Hancock. Nils even plays on the first Wyclef Jean solo album, titled Carnivalґ.
In 1981 Thad Jones invited the Swede into his new Bigband project Ball of Fireґ, to take the lead-trombone chair. The band was built up around such great musicians as Jerome Richardson, Jerry Dodgion, Tim Hagans, Bobby Burgess, Roger Kellaway, Sahib Shihab, Dusko Goykovich, and Benny. "A fantastic band, sad that it did not work out in the end", Nils says about that expreience. Two years later Nils debut album Planet Rockґ was released, followed by Streetfighterґ in 1984, You are my Nr 1ґ in 1985, Miles from Dukeґ with Bengt-Arne Wallin in 1987, Chapter Two 1ґ, in 1987, Chapter Two 2ґ and Follow your heartґ in 1989. Between 1985 and 1987 Nils also performed as actor, singer, trombonist, and dancer in over 360 performances of the Swedish "play of the year", SKЕL, as well as appearing in several TV-films as an actor.
1992 saw the first performances and recording of the Nils Landgren Unit; the recording was called Red Hornґ, and was mixed by the legendary sound engineer Bruce Swedien. (re-release 2001 as "The First Unit", ACT 9292-2). That same summer the band performed at the Playboy Jazzfestivalґ in Los Angeles, hosted by the great Bill Cosby. The final breakthrough outside of Scandinavia came first in 1994: it was at the Jazz Baltica Festival in Germany that the Unitґ became the Funk Unitґ. The album Live in Stockholmґ (ACT 9223-2) with guest star Maceo Parker was released that year and was the foundation for the collaboration with Siegfried Loch and his young ACT label.