Nils Landgren: Nature Boy

The Swedish trombone player performs Cat Stevens, Eden Ahbez, Duke Ellington and some traditional melodies solo in a reverberant church

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Landgren’s first solo album came out of lockdown. Unexpectedly finding himself at home and unable to travel and tour for months, he came up with the idea of playing and recording a solo album with just his wife Bea in the audience. The venue, a local church near home, seemed the perfect setting, adding a spiritual resonance to the music.

As with any Landgren project, the secret of success here is the personal connection with the music; the integrity behind the selection and the genuine connection in the performance. That the album’s title is Nature Boy is no accident. The song, made famous by Nat King Cole, is about a boy who has travelled far only to find that the most valuable thing is “to love and be loved in return”.

The album covers other equally significant music for Landgren – traditional Swedish songs, religious songs he performed in church as a child, a couple of Ellington tracks that inspired his love of jazz and big band music. The album also includes a couple of tracks by Swedish ballad singer Evert Taube – ending with the lullaby Sov Pa Min Arm (Sleep On My Arm).

Landgren keeps the length of material short – no track here is over three and a half minutes, so he works cleverly within the confines and limitations of the solo format. The acoustics in the church are ideal for this personal and reflective album. From the darkness and solitude of lockdown, Landgren has crafted and performed something of delicate beauty.

Discography
Morning Has Broken; Nature Boy; A Minor; In A Sentimental Mood; Solitude; Varmlandsvisan; Allt Under Himmelens Faste; Der Mond Ist Aufgegangen; Nu Sjunker Bullret; Din Klara Sol Gar Ater Opp; Som Starnor Sma; Den Blomstertid Nu Kommer; Jag Lyfter Pgat Mot Himmelen; Sov Pa Min Arm (44.56)
Landgren (tb). Ingelstorps Kyrka, 4 and 19 February and 5 April 2021.
ACT 9938-2