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



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NILS LANDGREN
with JANIS SIEGEL

Some Other Time

ACT 9813-2

 

 

1. Overture: America

2. Some Other Time

3. Cool

4. Maria

5. Somewhere

6. The Story of My Life

7. One Hand, One Heart

8. Something’s Coming

9. Lonely Town

10. A Quiet Girl

11. Lucky To Be Me

12. A Simple Song


Nils Landgren – Trombone, vocals

Janis Siegel – Vocals

Jan Lundgren – Piano

Dieter Ilg - Bass

Wolfgang Haffner - Drums

Members of the Bochum Symphony Orchestra arranged and conducted by Vince Mendoza


The extremely versatile Nils Landgren pays tribute to Leonard Bernstein with a dozen of his songs, most of them from West Side Story. He and Janis Siegel sing the songs, and Nils improvises on most of them with his trombone. One tends to forget that Leonard Bernstein wrote many fine songs for musicals like Wonderful Town and On The Town. The former supplied A Quiet Girl and the latter contributed at least three, including the title-track as well as Lonely Town and Lucky To Be Me.

The programme opens with a brief, semi-classical version of America which, like many tracks, is taken more slowly than you might expect. Nils Landgren’s trombone is wistful in Some Other Time which, like most tracks, includes fine singing by Janis Siegel and an uncertain vocal from Nils Landgren, before they join in duet. The trombone is an instrument that often seems incapable of tender emotion, but Nils manages it here and in One Hand, One Heart.

Cool shows why Landgren should stick to the trombone playing, as his singing is dubious, with unclear intonation which sometimes obscures the lyrics. Still, Nils hots things up with a jaunty Maria. Janis Siegel is the more practised vocalist on the majority of tracks. She shines particularly in The Story of My Life and Lucky To Be Me. Her experience in Manhattan Transfer has taught her how to tell stories through her vocals with clarity and feeling. Vince Mendoza has arranged a remarkable opening for Something’s Coming, which uses counter-melodies to build up to Nils and Janis’s duet.

This CD is an interesting attempt to use the varied resources of voices, trombone, jazz trio and chamber-music-style orchestral backing to assemble a rare tribute to Leonard Bernstein, whose contribution to the Great American Songbook is often overlooked.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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