All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Nils Lindberg: Timeless (Seven Dalecarlian Paintings)

Mark Sabbatini By

Sign in to view read count
Nils Lindberg has apparently spent his lengthy career recording some pretty good jazz-meets-ancient-folk which you've never heard. His 2003 Christmas album hit the market in January of 2004 and is now out of print. Some of his used albums sell for more than $100 each, though a few more reasonably priced releases are available on the internet.

But it's now possible to hear a compilation of the Swedish musician's 1970s work with the newly released Timeless: Seven Dalecarlian Paintings. The album is hardly dated, however—its sound and creativity easily pass for contemporary. Much like the medieval Swedish folklore the compositions are based on, it's thoroughly pleasant without a tome-like depth.

The linear notes describe the pianist as "A modern curbitz painter," explaining that the curbitzes were naivists who staged plays about the bible in villages, using the clothes on their backs and whatever the neighbors might have available. With Lindberg, whose family in the Swedish province of Dalecarlia has a long musicial history, "the folklore is the basic element, the strokes of his musical brush mirror the present time."

The liner notes conclude by stating "one of tempted to label these Lindberg adaptations as Swedish blues," but that isn't entirely accurate. The material seems more like a mingling of pops classical, soundtrack, folk and little big band. There's both variety and sameness to the songs—the styles may be different, but all the tracks are highly melodic pieces that tend to wrap the listener in the ensemble, rather than individual instrumentation.

Lindberg does dish out attention-getting spurts of lively, if straightforward, notes on the swing-heavy "Old Wedding Tune Ahl," with a more deeply meditative variation on the soundscape-drenched "Thoughts On Shieling Hymn." Alto saxophonist Arne Domnérus' easygoing chops take center stage on two "polskas" (Swedish for "Polish dance") that start as modestly conventional string ensembles before switching to a straighthead mode. Trumpter Jan Allan lends a seductive glissade to several dreamy arrangements of "Torn Erik's Song" and "Ballad From Mockfjard."

The heavy ensembles are stripped away a couple of times. Lindberg plays the hymn "The Blessed Day" on pipe organ and concludes the album with a solo piano treatment of "Song From Djura." The latter is more appreciable, with enough space to allow him to switch between (mostly) light and (sometimes) heavy touches with clarity.

If Timeless is a feeler by Prophone to determine if Lindberg's works are worthy of reissue, the answer is probably yes. There's a lot of intrigue here, although it would be nice to hear some of the concepts explored in greater depth. Based on this recording, many listeners will likely be curious to hear how he's developed since the 1970s.

Track Listing: Torn Erik

Personnel: Nils Lindberg: piano, organ, conductor; Putte Wickman: clarinet; Arne Domn

Title: Timeless (Seven Dalecarlian Paintings) | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Prophone Records


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Live In Healdsburg CD/LP/Track Review
Live In Healdsburg
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Carpe Diem CD/LP/Track Review
Carpe Diem
by Don Phipps
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Exotica CD/LP/Track Review
by Chris May
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Oriental Orbit CD/LP/Track Review
Oriental Orbit
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Brightbird CD/LP/Track Review
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Tandem" CD/LP/Track Review Tandem
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2018
Read "Gratified Never Satisfied" CD/LP/Track Review Gratified Never Satisfied
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Eleven" CD/LP/Track Review Eleven
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2018
Read "More Powerful" CD/LP/Track Review More Powerful
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "The Art Pepper Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review The Art Pepper Quartet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "Little Steps" CD/LP/Track Review Little Steps
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 20, 2017