cover of a CD is always the visit card of a musician. The cover photo
of Nils new album Ready To Play (2007) gives the impression of
ease. Nils is certainly no musical lightweight. He has
worked with George Benson, The Temptations, Rick Braun, Gabriella
Anders, Gerald McCauley, Norman Connors, Marcus Johnson among others.
ďAs much as Iíve
loved creating music in the studio all these years, I realized when I
started to play concerts and festivals last year that Iíd been
missing the ying to my yang, so to speak. Itís been a wonderfully
validating experience. Iíve enjoyed the travel and the opportunity
to play for so many people who enjoy what I do. Thatís the reason I
started making music in the first place, to communicate, and itís
been so enjoyable to bring my music to a wider audience. Iím looking
forward to getting out there again, and, like the title of the album
says, Iím seriously Ready To Play.Ē This
impetus is comprehensible. I never met an artist who didn't want to
play his music.
There is no conflict
between a serious musician and the easiness of his music. ďThe most
important thing I learned from the success of PCH,Ē Nils says,
ďwas that everyone likes a good groove and youíve got to make them
move." Be the party king and impress your audience with your
music. That's Nil's receipt. But how is his cooking?
The title tune Ready To Play starts
with a fresh guitar lick. Listening to the clean surface of the
arrangement one quickly recognizes that this tune is designed for
smooth jazz radio stations. Anyway Nils has a flowing perfect style
and his skills are undeniable.
Just Smile has a pleasant
melody with accessible potential. Besides this Nils lets his guitar
shine with rapid chords.
My favorite on this album is Catnap.
Although laid-back performed the infectious melody creeps into your
brain and is hooking. This is quality stuff like Rick Braun's Notorious.
Nils is a multi-instrumentalist. He
plays guitars, organs, keyboards and is also an experienced
programmer. The uptempo Midnight Breeze is a good example for
Sunrise on Sunset has the same
cool elegance as his predecessors.
You Gotta Be was originally
written by Des'ree for her album I Ain't Movin' (1994) reaching
the U.S. Top Five with this song. It's a strong song and Nils
encompasses this power in his guitar version.
Dreamin' is perfectly arranged
with great contributions of keyboardist Leon Bisquera, percussionist
Oliver C. Brown and Robert Vally's bass. Impressing guitar licks on an
uptempo head bopper beat.
My Girl is the second cover on
this album, penned by Smokey Robinson and successfully performed by
The Temptations on their second LP The
Temptations Sing Smokey (1964). Nils
isn't using a beaten path but goes off roads with a wilder choir
arrangement. Clydene Jackson, Terry Lynn Wood and Carmen Twillie are
the three suspect persons. Clydene
is best known in the music industry as a first-call session singer, you've
most certainly heard her singing on platinum records by Rod Stewart, Barbara
Streisand, Michael McDonald, Patti LaBelle and others.
has a stellar band with solo additions of Nils, Clydene Jackson
(synth) and Alex Al on bass. I recently saw his brilliant performance
on Clarke's Night
Only You has
a more melancholic mood, well supported by Dove and The Lovestar
With Hurry Up
And Wait Nils introduces some edgy funky elements into his album.
The bridges smooth out this temper. Nils co-wrote this track with
tells a nice story. Personally I love it when Nils expands the length
of the melody instead of performing short riffs.
Nils will certainly repeat the
chart-topping result of his previous album Pacific Coast Highway. His
new album has the same appeal to attract listeners of smooth jazz. On
long distance he will have to change his concept to gain a greater
community. While the dark clouds of torrent downloads are rattling the
sabers innovations are overdue and essential.
- Nils - Website
- Review about Nils album Pacific Coast Highway
- Buy the album at all stores
- Title: Ready To Play
Genre: Smooth Jazz
01 Ready To Play [4:10]
02 Just Smile [3:46]
03 Catnap [5:04]
04 Midnight Breeze [4:28]
05 Sunrise On Sunset [4:16]
06 You Gotta Be [3:59]
07 Dreamin' [4:40]
08 My Girl [4:25]
09 High Five [4:33]
10 Only You [4:42]
11 Hurry Up and Wait [4:23]
12 Last Night [4:46]