'Anders Holst, a Swedish singer, makes this a standout collection of world music with jazz motifs that will linger in the jazz listener's mind. Tenor saxophonist Gerald Albright performs on the song, 'Until The End of Time. Mats Bystrom is a special treat with his innovative piano styling. An excellent listening experience, Anders Holst and his CD collection, Five, is exceptional entertainment. Highly recommended' LEE PROSSER, JAZZREVIEW.COM 'There is something of Michael Franks in his voice, something reminiscent of Peter Skellern and, hidden in there somewhere perhaps, the wistfulness of Leonard Cohen. Anders Holst, who is now based in New York, has co-composed four of the five tracks and the entire album is characterized by consistently excellent production.... there deserves to be a place for an album like 'Five' that dares to be different. DENIS POOLE, SMOOTHVIBES.COM 'Soulful Swedish singer/songwriter Anders Holst blends smoky jazz with the adult contemporary melodicism of Sting, Seal, and Leonard Cohen. Recorded in his native Stockholm, as well as New York City, his five-song debut EP, titled simply Five, was released on Unheard of Music in 2004. Introspective, spiritual, and romantic, Five deftly weaves pop, jazz, and classical into a smooth style all it's own.' JAMES CHRISTOPHER MONGER, ALL MUSIC GUIDE '... he has certainly succeeded in producing a fine debut EP that's perfect for a romantic evening on the roof with some martinis and a city skyline for a backdrop. Whether that skyline is in Stockholm or New York City' ROBERT BURKE, BLOGCRITICS.ORG 'His single is just what AC radio has missed and is in need of: A track that unequivocally articulates the softer side of romance, and the harder side of masculinity - with no apologies. It's not an appeal or a request, it's a demand. Love Me Like A River! His ability to switch from rich baritone to soulful tenor, with ease and comfort, is illuminated by the dreamy string arrangement which is nicely accented by the bevy of background babes who complement his machismo and add a sensuality that feels like silk laying gently upon steel.' GIAN FIERO, MUSESMUSE.COM ANDERS HOLST - FIVE by Jonathan Widran This debut offering buy the soulful, deep voiced Swedish born singer, songwriter and producer may only be five tracks long but it's soaring melodies, rich production texture and clever wistful lyrics pack an emotional punch equal to most full-length collections Recorded in Stockholm and in Holst's adopted home in New York, Holsts's songs covers numerous themes starting with the bright, determined optimism of 'Never Look Back' (which rich orchestral flavors invoke classical influences); followed by the magical romance of 'Love Me Like A River', a sweeping dramatic track which brings to mind both Sting and Seal. Then there is the introspective, spiritual minded ballad 'Anfield Road' and 'Verrazano Bridge' a nostalgic journey through his adopted hometown - that beautifully blends pop, jazz, classical and chill flavors. 'Verrazano Bridge' which couples romantic loss with the mood of the city post 9/11, has some of the disc's most colorful lyrics that reflect Holst love of jazz: 'Left us in a kind of blue and mellow Ellingtonian state of mind.... fades into the mist just like a Benny Goodman record on the radio'. The final track 'Until the End of Time' is a sweet breezy valentine to a loved one featuring the very smooth jazz friendly harmony sax lines of Gerald Albright, guitar by Paul Jackson Jr. and a wonderful flute solo by Magnus Lindgren. Smooth jazz listeners will be listening to these five tracks over and over while waiting for more from this remarkable diverse and undeniable seductive vocal talent. Jonathan Widran is a nationally recognized freelance music and entertainment journalist who has written thousands of reviews, feature articles, liner notes and performer biographies covering all genres of music for over 15 years. Specializing in adult contemporary music and smooth jazz, he has written the Contempo column in Jazziz since the early 90s and is a regular contributor to All Music Guide, Music Connection and Smooth Jazz News. He is also a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. ANDERS HOLST 'FIVE' by Peter J. Levinson Anders Holst's collection of songs on the album FIVE is based on his wide breadth of life experiences. It reveals that the man is his music. His songs cover a wide range of emotions: romance, hope, loneliness, disillusionment, and optimism with equal sensitivity. The inherent conviction contained in his songs, he is the co-composer and lyricist of all of them, except for 'Verrazano Bridge', finds him completely open and unafraid to expose his own vulnerabilities. This is a unique voice and the work of a true artist. Born and raised in Sweden, traveling the world, Anders Holst's songs projects his innate understanding of the way the world works, the human condition and of life's many ups and downs. As a comparison, one could evoke the work of Leonard Cohen with the point being the strong mature sensitivity factor shared by both artists, and one could sense the influences from artists like Van Morrison, Paul McCartney and Sting. The mood and atmosphere contained in these songs can be considered a mixture of such disparate names and compositions as David Bowie's 'Low', Antonio Vivaldi's 'Adagios' and the melancholy folk music contained in Jan Johansson's 'Jazz in Swedish', interpreted in the vein of adult contemporary music. The album FIVE is an intimate musical travelogue with a departure in the song NEVER LOOK BACK, which deals with the troubled viewpoint of it's protagonist, living with anger and seeking retribution with his attempt to 'stay on a straight and narrow track.' LOVE ME LIKE A RIVER inspired the dramatic and compelling video produced by Cleo Award-winning director and filmmaker Peter Israelson, in which the leading character carries himself with an understated assurance. The haunting melody and mystery of the song is underlined by David Wilczewski's soprano saxophone. 'You can carry me over and make my heart believe,' seems to convey the entire story. ANFIELD ROAD is a call for relying on inner strength. The metaphor contained in the lyrics is derived from the sign that reads 'You Never Walk Alone' at Liverpool FC's home ground. This is the sentiment passed on to a close and beloved young friend venturing forth in life. He will always be there for her. One walks through many places through life but the most important place is, of course, inside of you. This highly romantic song VERRAZANO BRIDGE involves looking back at a difficult relationship and how it ended on an 'Indian summer morning' in New York. The lyrics illustrate the deep feelings by describing how the end of the love affair 'Left us in the kind of blue and mellow Ellingtonian state of mind...' and the unusual metaphor for conveying the horror of September 11 by the dust 'fades into mist like a Benny Goodman record on the radio' followed by a wistful piano solo by jazz musician Mats Byström. Tenor saxophonist Gerald Albright one of the key purveyors of smooth jazz beautifully states the lovely melody line of the final selection, UNTIL THE END OF TIME. There is a pledge of absolute commitment to his loved one, which will overcome any obstacles that they might face in the years ahead. The rewards for openness and devotion are celebrated. This is the perfect closer to provide an all-encompassing study of romantic love and inspiration. Peter J. Levinson is the author of Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James. He worked for 42 years in the entertainment business as a publicist, freelance writer, booking agent, personal manager and is currently working on a book about the life of Fred Astaire. He lives in Malibu, California.
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