Chris Dahlgren


VÖ 11. August 2017


Puberty is giving a hard time to most of us. 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 fall 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 had a clue of which direction I was going to … most likely any average teenager.

But now Dahlgren got inspired from that Deja Vu to an album that even his best friends wouldn´t have thought of. Since more or less 2 decades the NewYork City born musician is well known as the solid bass player of Jazz Icons such as Anthony Braxton, Charles Tolliver and many others. In 2003 he moved to Berlin where he teaches serious students in improvisation at the Hans Eisler University of Arts.

And now he sings. And he composes and writes the lyrics for songs which kind of are even more than "just songs“. It´s poems which echo to Jacque Brel´s „pearls of rain in a land where sun only burns“ which the french singer once promised his one and only love.

The album now entitles DHALGREN and the 2 changed letters are not a printing mistake it´s by purpose of the artist.

He didn´t accept his voice at first when he started to sing about 8 years ago. But he found out that there is something special about it and it was for sure not the fact that singers would always get the girls. And it was also not that Dahlgren wanted to become one of a Berlin hipster (it´s quite trendy there to kind of do anything creative besides being creative anyway …). But what attracted him was that he found out about new vibes of expression that he was missing so far in his music.
And this album now is soaked in atmosphere!

Atmosphere seems to be the clue in Dahlgren´s musical universe. He claims it´s there or not and it is a magical thing that you know right away if the night is going to be special. As a singer you never can hide. If the singer doesn´t let him go to extraordinary it all does not make any sense.
Probably soon Chris has to cope with being compared to Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits but was it them where his inspiration derives from?
His answer: You can´t deny their music but it would be a mistake to copy them. „There is a big influence yes but my songs are definitely my own kids.“
And there is at least a very special sense of humor as well: the title Berlin, Berlin (in true reminiscence of New York, New York) describes the german capitol as „the city that never works“ and is one of the nicest homage to the Spree-Metropole. „When I arrived here I had the impression that this is one of the easiest and most relaxed places I´ve ever been. Coming from New York I still don´t get it even today!

That´s good and bad at one time. The good thing is that you don´t have to be your own slave of surviving permanantly as in New York. The bad is that sometimes Dahlgren misses the passion and fire in the people. Here you can get laid back and tired pretty easy.
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 kept a teenage heart you might fall in love with DHALGREN pretty easy.

Featuring Gebhard Ullman sax, Almut Kühne vocals a.m.o