Anders Holst: Five (2005)
Holst features 22 musicians on Fivequite a few, considering that there are only five songs totalling nineteen minutes. Saxophonists David Wilczewski and smooth jazz icon Gerald Albright perform on "Love Me Like A River" and "Until the End of Time," respectively. Celebrated smooth jazz guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr. makes an appearance on "Until the End of Time." Mats Bystrom plays keyboards, Wurlitzer, or piano on all five songs; he also serves as a coproducer. Drummer Olle Dahlstadt performs on "Anfield Road" and Per Lindvall on the other four tracks. Some of the other instruments include violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, organ, glockenspiel, and flute.
Initially all those players may seem a bit excessive, but the instruments and the interplay among the musicians work so well that at times it sounds as if Holst is singing over a prerecorded track. There is nothing overwhelming or complicated about the music; actually, it sounds very cleanlike it was intended to serve as the backdrop to a really good storyand that is what makes the songs work.
The experience that comes through in each song's lyrics also works well. Holst sings about struggle and growth, love and disillusionment, loneliness and acceptance. His lyrics are the perfect accompaniment to the music, because he is a musician's songwriter. Neither singer nor musicians overshadow each other on this recording, both existing together as one cohesive unit.
Five could have been more interesting if there were a more obvious jazz element, but what Holst has created does fit him very well.
Track Listing: Never Look Back; Love Me Like A River; Anfield Road; Verrazano Bridge; Until the End of Time.
Personnel: Jerker Eklund: guitar (1-4), bass (1); Mats Bystrom: keyboards (1,2,5), wurlitzer (3), piano (4); Per Lindvall: drums (1,2,4,5); Alar Suurna: glockenspiel (1), percussion (3); Christian Bergquist: 1st violin (1,4); Paul Waltman: 2nd violin (1,4); Goran Frost: viola (1,4); Beata Soderberg: cello (1,4); David Wilczewski: saxophone (2); Jimmy Kallquist: bass (2); Anna Rodell: 1st violin (2); Josef Cabrales-Alin: 2nd violin (2); Asa Stove Paulsson: viola (2); Christina Wirdegren Alin: cello (2); Robert Ostlund: Hammond organ (3); Sven Lindvall: bass (3); Olle Dahlstedt: drums (3); Thobias Gabrielson: bass (4,5); Johan Lofcrantz-Ramsay: percussion (4); Magnus Lindgren: flute (5); Gerald Albright: saxophone (5); Paul Jackson, Jr: guitar (5).
Record Label: Unheard of Music