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Nils Landgren
raw

VÖ: 27.06.2024

Genre: Blasinstrumente, Swedish Jazz, Jazz from Sweden, Good Time Jazz

CD

€18.00*

ACT 9992-2, 614427999221
Celebrating 30 years of Nils Landgren Funk Unit

Nils Landgren / trombone, vocals
Magnum Coltrane Price / bass, vocals
Andy Pfeiler / guitar, vocals
Jonas Wall / tenor saxophone, bg vocals
Petter Bergander / keyboards, bg vocals
Robert Ikiz / drums, bg vocals

Cover art by Peter Krüll


The year 1994 marks the birth of the Funk Unit. When I got the offer from Siggi Loch to join his new label ACT, the first thing he did was to change the original band name Unit to Funk Unit. When I asked why, he answered: ”because you play funk” – and right he was. The rest is history. After 30 years of albums, touring and everything connected to it, I thought it would be great to go somewhere special for our 30th anniversary recording session. I happen to have a dear friend, Johan Lundgren, who used to be my trombone student lightyears ago, and he, together with another friend, Fredrik Thomander, built a fantastic Recording Studio in Palma on the island of Mallorca. Wouldn’t it be a great opportunity for us all, after all these years together, to record the album in a relaxed setting, being able to fully concentrate on our task? To make an album celebrating our 30-year history as a funk band from Sweden.

I presented the idea to my fellow band members, and they all loved it. So did Andreas Brandis, head of the ACT label, my musical home where all my albums have been released since 1994 – twelve of them with Funk Unit, this one included. So now all I had to do was to book the flights, the studio, find accommodation for us all and figure out a way to finance the stay. Oh, there was one more little thing. We all had to write songs for the album. As we met for rehearsals before leaving for the island of Mallorca, no one knew what was written and by whom. I had worked hard in my spare time though, coming in with five songs. So anyway, we started from scratch, listening to each others’ demos and then went on making them sound like us. All of us contributed and it was really great to hear our own compositions come to life.

On landing in Palma on my birthday February 15th at 2 pm, we went straight to the studio to set up and get the sound ready for the recordings to start. We just could not wait. Much of the setup had already been done by the studio crew and a few devoted volunteers and sooner than anyone thought possible, we could start to record, with the amazing sound engineer Shades leading the whole operation. From that moment on, we all knew that this was going to be a special album. Everything fell into place. The vibe in the studio, the sound, how the guys in the band played, the food being served in the breaks, how the coffee on the rooftop tasted and the generous dinners after finishing up for the day. To finance the recordings, we had decided to give in-house concerts the last two evenings after recording. Although it meant even longer days for everyone, it was a wonderful feeling to get the chance to test some of the music we had recorded in front of a live audience sitting almost in our laps. It was so rewarding to get feedback from the people that came to our shows. On top of that, we had a film team lead by our dear friend Dan Sermand documenting the whole thing.

We all left the island February 20th with a sense of deep satisfaction, knowing that we had done our very best and that our best might be more than just good enough. Only one man stayed behind in Palma: Magnum. Aside from being a badass bass player and singer, he is also the one person at my side, who has experienced the whole Funk Unit journey from Live in Stockholm till today. We had decided to mix the album in the same studio and Shades was not available until a week later. I believe Magnum had a good time, both hangin’ and working with master Shades. The result is this album Raw. Our honest and simple way to create handmade music and to make it enjoyable for both body and soul. We are not just a band. We are Nils Landgren Funk Unit.
Nils Landgren
For the words versatility and curiosity, there is a synonym: Nils Landgren. Virtuosically, "Mr. Red Horn" navigates from perspective to perspective, partly because he thrives on constant change. Two souls reside in his chest: When the audience experiences him with his "Funk Unit," the Swede reveals his distinctive, relentlessly groovy side and becomes the jazz action hero. But there's also a very gentle, melancholic, highly sentimental Nils Landgren. This side of him emerges, for example, during the Advent season when the instrumentalist and singer celebrates "Christmas With My Friends," or in his ballad projects. On the trombone, he intones with unparalleled smoothness, and his uniquely textured, fragile voice touches the heart and soul with its sensitivity.
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