"A phenomenon - with a unique way of playing and a very personal tone"."
- Mike Stern
"One of my absolute favorites among today's guitarists."
- Georg "Jojje" Wadenius
Guitarist and composer Erik Söderlind is a musician who defines the modern Swedish jazz scene. Or as Mike Stern describe him “a phenomenon - with a unique way of playing and a very personal tone".
Erik Söderlind's trademark is his fingerstyle technique, based on his early classical training. Musically he can be described as an innovator rooted in the straight ahead-styles of swing, bebop and blues. His broad musical sensitivity and background has also taken him far beyond the jazz's domains. He has written music for, and toured, with some of Sweden's most popular singers such as Louise Hoffsten and Lisa Nilsson.
Erik Söderlind got his first guitar at the age of six and learned to play by spending hours trying to imitate blues icons like Eric Clapton and BB King. Later on he discovered jazz guitar giants like Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Grant Green and fell in love with the art of improvisation, an art form he himself soon learned to master with brilliance.
In 2015 Erik received The Guitar People Prize Sweden, an award given to the best guitar player in Sweden. The same year he released his third solo album "In The Moment" which features artists like Eric Alexander, Lisa Nilsson, Svante Thuresson and Dan Berglund, one of the members of Esbjörn Svensson Trio – EST. Over the last few years he's become increasingly better known internationally as well and has played with several of the most influential jazz guitarists in the world, like Frank Vignola and Peter Bernstein.
It is impossible not to be moved by The Beatles’ music.
A hundred years from now, Lennon and McCartney will be considered contemporary equivalents of the biggest classical composers of all time – and their music will keep being rediscovered over and over again.
- I remember when I was a child and heard The Beatles for the first time. I was on camping holiday with my family and I was sitting in our old Volvo. The music stuck with me right away, and I kept listening to the songs during the whole trip. That added up to lots of miles and lots of songs, says Erik Söderlind.
To take on a musical heritage that so many people have so many personal connections to and opinions about is definitely not an easy thing to do. However, The Beatles’ music has also turned out to work in so many different interpretations. Paul McCartney’s brilliant melodies and exquisite harmonies create the perfect foundation for instrumental versions.
- Paul McCartney to me is a genius, in every sense of the word. Few others have managed to write such fantastic songs with such rich melodies and harmonies. The fact that they have also turned into huge hit songs that remain relevant to this day – that is simply amazing, says Erik Söderlind.
Erik Söderlind belongs to the Swedish jazz elite, and he has played with the world’s most prominent jazz musicians. At the same time, he pushes the boundaries in his musical expressions, which he has shown especially in his recurring collaborations with Swedish singers such as Lisa Nilsson and Louise Hoffsten.
The decision to let only his guitar speak represents a natural step forward for him – and a change much anticipated by his devoted live audience who have already gotten to see that side of him. His personal interpretations of Paul McCartney’s musical treasures not only prove his incredible skill and sensitivity through his trademark fingerpicking. His own arrangements also show his unique musicality, his phrasing and feel for melody playing. This dynamic meeting once again demonstrates why Sir Paul’s music is loved by several generations, while simultaneously taking us on a new musical journey.
Going through the vast amount of song material has been a daunting task.
- Selecting the songs was a challenge. There are so many songs to choose from, but I’ve gone with my gut feeling and thought about what fits the acoustic guitar best, and how I can do the songs justice. Moreover, the melodies are so strong in themselves, so I didn’t want to tweak them too much. This is quite different from the traditional “jazz way of thinking” where improvisation takes the center stage to a larger extent, says Erik Söderlind.