Fresh, new, and original. Those are the descriptive words to use for the debut CD, I Am Ready, from Swedish saxophonist, Greger Hillman. The title aptly describes this point in his career where he is ready to present himself to the rest of the world. The self-produced CD consists of ten original tracks, varied from upbeat and catchy to simple and serene ballads, which show what this young talent is made of and capable of playing on the soprano, alto, and tenor saxes.
The title track opens the CD. This is definitely a tune that will stay in your head all day, so beware! Greger takes the alto and just lets it rip! The melody is catchy and energetic. A great start to the CD. “Home at Last” is a song from the heart. You can tell there is much emotion on this tune and the sax is gentle, but builds with excitement. “Baby I Love You” is another heartfelt tune and features Greger on all instruments except the bass. The versatility of this musician is amazing, but again his sax leads the way.
Next up is “Feels Good.” This beat-driven track has Greger on the tenor sax and is more of a head-bopper. For a peaceful song, you will truly enjoy “Now You Know,” which showcases the ballad side of Greger’s abilities. He plays both the sax and grand piano on this song. “Let’s Go Back” is perfectly titled. This song takes you back to the 70s or 80s pop songs, with its edgier sound and guitar solo. Greger again shows his versatility by playing sax and keyboards.
Flipping back to the gentle ballad side, “In These Arms of Mine” again makes the listener understand that this saxman can definitely take his music to different places with ease. This makes the journey for listeners a fun and emotional experience. “Can You Feel This” features Greger on the soprano sax and is another upbeat, fun tune. It is quite radio-friendly and a standout tune on this CD.
Rounding out the collection are “No Place Like Home,” a very calming tune giving you the sense of joy and comfort, and “Last Words,” another piano and sax track, a dark and moody-type tune, which is a perfect ending to this CD.
All-in-all, this CD gives most listeners what they are after, a variety of well-played, well-produced, original songs. This independent artist is destined to be on a major label before long. Be sure to check it out on CD Baby or on Greger Hillman’s website at www.hillmanrecords.com.
- Bonnie Schendell