Review: Mattias Nilsson – Dreams Of Belonging

Mattias Nilsson / solo piano

Dreams of Belonging is a solo piano performance by Mattias Nilsson. The album consists of nine heartfelt offerings. Mattias has a strong melodic and harmonic sense and a talent for laying into the melody of each of these short compositional pieces, exploring them at his leisure. This entire record seems to be geared for a classical setting as opposed to an improvisational environment. Mr. Nilsson is quite adept at playing these compositions at length. The use of the piano adds to the grandeur of these folk songs. The music gently washes over listeners like soft ocean waves.

During the sixties, a recording such as this would have gotten considerable play on the radio, such as Vince Guaraldi’s song “Cast Your Fate To The Wind.” At the time, it appealed to many non-jazz audiences. Unfortunately, we have moved away from that era when instrumentalists were appreciated to a much greater degree. The fourth song, Södermalm, I can hear Wynton Kelly swinging on it with Miles’ earlier bands. While most of this music comes across on the ballad side, the album as a whole touches base on the feeling of Vince Guaraldi’s famous composition. This record is the perfect record to listen to at the end of the day after getting home from work. I wasn’t familiar with Mattias Nilsson before this recording. I will keep an eye on his future efforts with great interest. Dreams of Belonging is available now online.

–Marc Edwards, March 29, 2017

Album Details

Tracks:

  1. Folk Melody from Vastmanland (4:56)
  2. Serenad (5:21)
  3. Dreams of Belonging (4:26)
  4. Sodermalm (4:50)
  5. Hymn to Love (4:48)
  6. Gentle on My Mind (5:33)
  7. At Froso Church (8:41)
  8. Spirea (4:04)
  9. Day by Day (4:52)

Credits:

Recorded at Rosenbergsalen, Malmö Academy of Music, Sweden on January 8–9, 2016. Mixed at White Room Studio. Mastered at Chromophone Records & Studios. Recording & mixing engineer: Allan Skrobe; Mastering engineer: Joakim Barfalk

Photos and design: Anja Emzén. Produced by Mattias Nilsson.