More Than Words
2019 / CHL Production
Review by Kathy Parsons
Christian Lindquist is a pianist/composer/multi-instrumentalist from Sweden who released three Solo Piano Diary albums in 2008, 2010 and 2013. I loved all three albums, but hadn’t heard anything about Christian in several years, so I was excited to hear that he was releasing his fourth album, More Than Words. The first three albums were improvisations and this new one is an “evolved project from my piano albums.” Christian and two musician friends chose a selection of pieces from the three “Diaries” that would work well in a smooth jazz format. “We found about 20 melodies and booked a time in a studio in Stockholm (The Atlantis Studio where ABBA made their records). I have never really learned my improvised pieces so it was a new experience to have them written down and together with fellow musicians (the top shelf of session musicians in Sweden) my melodies came to life again! I am really excited that these naked improvised melodies survived and got even stronger in this new context.” In addition to piano and keyboards, Lindquist plays accordion and a variety of guitars on the album. Other instrumentation includes sax, trumpet, bass, drums and percussion. All seventeen tracks are smooth, relaxed and very beautiful. This is a great album to really focus on while getting lost in the music, and it would also be very pleasant background music.
I have a lots of favorites on More Than Words, which begins with the slow and dreamy “Coming Back.” Sax and trumpet carry the melody with bass, percussion and guitars supporting - a great start! “Walk With Me For A While” is smooth, gentle and relaxed with piano, sax and electric guitar sharing the lead. “Reach Out” picks up the energy level a bit with a more prominent rhythm section and a playful attitude. Lindquist plays the accordion and an electric guitar solo on “Follow Me,” and I assume it’s him on piano, too. (How does he play all three at once?!?!) Seriously, it’s a beautiful ballad, as is the peaceful “So Close.” “Return Home” expresses inner peace and contentment. “You Are Free” features a larger ensemble of musicians that includes Lindquist’s electric guitar solo, wordless vocals and a buoyant mood. “High Above” is a slow and bittersweet sax and guitar piece (with supporting instrumentation) that I find poignant and touching. At seven minutes, “I Am Ok” is by far the longest piece on the album. Slow, smooth and heartfelt, there are some tasty electric guitar and keyboard solos that really stand out. One of the things I always enjoy about longer pieces like this is that all of the musicians have a chance to “do their thing” without rushing, allowing the music to evolve organically. “Farewell” is a lovely closing piece for this excellent album. We’ll hope it won’t be too long until we meet again!
More Than Words is available from Amazon and iTunes/Apple Music as well as several streaming sites.
December 19, 2019