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S: Living Now (2002)

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Danish guitarist Søren Lee summarizes the philosophy behind Living Now, his third album as leader, in a single sentence: “This music is a story told straight from my heart to everyone who cares to listen.” It’s an expansive story, at times compelling, at others beauteous, woven entirely from the threads of his musical resourcefulness (all of the songs were composed by Lee). It is, however, a story that has been recounted many times before, in style if not in substance, and some listeners may find its familiarity tedious. Still, Lee and his companions narrate it about as well as one could wish, and are especially persuasive when the storyline slackens, as it frequently does (of the ten selections, half a dozen are ballads). Lee is a capable player on acoustic or electric guitar but not one to quicken one’s pulse rate or raise any goosebumps, and the same can be said of his frontline partner, organist / pianist Jesper Nordenström. They are earnestly supported by bassist Mads Vinding (who’d be my first choice to anchor almost any rhythm section) and drummer Martin Andersen, while accordionist Lelo Nika imparts a welcome splash of color on “Ballad for the Soul.” Lee’s compositions are pleasant but by no means memorable, with “Silent Beauty,” the samba “Kati” (written for his wife) and “Ballad for the Soul” among the best of them. A capable guitar / organ combo with top­drawer rhythm section that speaks in an often subdued but generally charming voice.

Contact:Stunt Records, 29 W. Maple Avenue, Bellmawr, NJ 08031 (phone 856­931­6441; fax 856­931­6445. Web site, www.sundance.dk

Track Listing: Living Now; When You Are Near; Groove Commitment; Light Waves; Silent Beauty; New Possibilities; Ballad for the Soul; Grace; Kati; Freedom in Life (55:30).

Personnel: S

Record Label: Stunt Records/Sundance Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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