News has arrived that my notes for the new Jan Lundgren solo piano CD have been submitted to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for a possible Grammy nomination. I hasten to emphasize that a submission is not a nomination. The essay required some of the most exhaustive research I have ever done for an album annotation. It involved the pleasure of listening repeatedly to All By Myself and investigating the history of each of its 14 pieces, classics from what we have all come to call the great American songbook. I thought I knew something about the backgrounds of “‘Round Midnight” and “My Heart Stood Still,” to mention two of the tracks. Yet, surprising information surfaced about each of them and most of the others.
I was flattered that producer Dick Bank asked me to do the writing, happy to be involved in a minor way with so important an achievement, and to be given carte blanche concerning length (the essay is more than 5,000 words). Liner notes aside, Jan Lundgren thinksand I agreethat the album is the best recorded work of his more than two decades as a professional pianist. It is a milestone in his career.
Is a liner note writer walking a thin ethical line when he mentions a project with which he is connected? I don’t think so. This isn’t a review. I’m sharing good news. I want to share it with Rifftides readers.