Chris Dahlgren

if you have an adult sense of good music and a youthful heart, you could easily fall in love with ‚DHALGREN’ …

Artist: Chris Dahlgren feat. Gebhard Ullmann, Almuth Kühne, Roger Szedalik a.m.o
produced by Chris Dahlgren / Alfred Vogel

Genre: Singer/Songwriter
release: 11th August 2017
Katalog Nr: BOOM0514
EAN / GS1 Code: 9120011930514

get it on bandcamp

Puberty, as everyone remembers, is a rough time. Chris Dahlgren hit it recently again as he was listening to some old songs of Donovan. „I just remembered that voice but couldn ́t connect anything with it, but then I fell in love with it … especially in his early songs.“ Dahlgren wonders about his new love. „This was the music of my teenage years when I felt insecure, neurotic and emotional and I didn ́t have a clear idea which direction I was going to … like any teenager.“
But Dahlgren got inspired by that Deja Vu to make an album that even his best friends wouldn ́t have thought he was capable of. For more than two decades the NewYork City-born musician is well known as a bassist with Jazz Icons, such as Anthony Braxton, Charles Tolliver among others, as well as for his own releases on Koch Jazz and other improvised music labels. In 2003 he moved to Berlin, Germany, where he teaches at the ‚Jazz Institute Berlin’.
And now he sings, composes the music and writes the lyrics for songs which are more than just songs. These are songs which echo to Jacque Brel ́s „many pearls of rain in a land where the sun only burns“ which the french singer once promised his one and only love. The album is entitled ‚DHALGREN’ and the 2 changed letters are not a printing mistake- it ́s on purpose by the artist.
Dahlgren didn ́t easily accept his voice at first when he started to sing. But he discovered that there is something special about it and it, for sure, wasn’t the fact that singers would always get the girls. It also wasn’t that Dahlgren wanted to become another Berlin hipster (it ́s quite trendy there to kind of do anything ‚creative’ except being creative, anyway …). But what was attracting him to singing was discovering the intimicy of expression which comes prior to any instrument, that he was missing, so far, in his music.
And how this album is soaked in atmosphere! Atmosphere seems to be the clue in Dahlgren ́s musical universe. He claims it ́s there- or it’s not and it’s a magical thing that you know right away if the performance is going to be special. As a singer you never can hide. If the singer isn’t honest, the music doesn’t take off. Probably soon Chris has to cope with being compared to Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits, but was it from them he derived his inspiration? His answer: you can ́t deny their music but it would be a mistake to copy them. „There’s an influence, yes, but my songs are definitely my own kids.“
There is a real sense of humor, too: his song ‚Berlin, Berlin’ (in reminiscence of ‚New York, New York’) describes the German capitol as „the city that never works“ and is one of the best homages to the Spree-Metropolis, yet. „When I arrived here I had the impression that this is one of the most relaxed places I ́ve ever been. Coming from New York, I still think so, even today!“
That ́s good and bad at the same time. The good thing is that you don ́t have to be a slave to survival, as in New York. The bad thing is that sometimes Dahlgren misses the drive and intensity of the Big Apple. In Berlin you can easliy become laid back and tired at the same time.
But you won ́t hear that on his record. It ́s pretty laid back but never tired. And, if you have an adult sense of good music and a youthful heart, you could easily fall in love with ‚DHALGREN’.