NILS – 60 10 29
Nils (pronounced: Neels) Fully living up to the title of a popular instructional book he once wrote called “How To Make Your Guitar Talk,” Nils was the smooth jazz story of 2005, breaking through to audiences across the country with the energetic title track from his Baja/TSR debut Pacific Coast Highway.
Hitting #1 on the Radio & Records airplay chart, “Pacific Coast Highway” became the soundtrack of the summer, staying at #1 for seven weeks on its way to being named the most played song in the format in the U.S. and Canada for the year. The guitarist’s follow-up single “Summer Nights” remained in the Top 5 for six months on the same chart and became his 2nd #1 hit.
Inspired by this success, Nils enters 2007 Ready To Play once again with an exciting new collection that keeps his crisp and edgy electric guitar front and center while expanding his pop, jazz and R&B driven musical palette even further.
Confirming his desire to get back out on the road and perform at prominent jazz festivals this summer after playing over 30 concerts last year (including the Lexus Jazz Festival in Newport Beach and the Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival), his perfect choice for the album’s first radio single is the instantly infectious, funky and percussive “Ready To Play.”
Other key tracks are the optimistic, sensual midtempo number “Just Smile,” the dreamy and ambient, wordless vocal tinged “Catnap” (which taps into Nils’ fascination with electronic music), the old school soul-inflected funk of “Sunrise On Sunset” and the brash and bouncy, hard grooving “Hi Five.”
“The most important thing I learned from the success of PCH,” he says, “was that everyone likes a good groove and you’ve got to make them move. And of course, there’s no substitute for a good song with a great melody.
That’s what I always strive for. If I come up with a strong hook and it starts getting to me, I know I’m on the right track. The most important thing was to make sure Ready To Play featured my best writing and playing from start to finish. I love the fact that it incorporates all of my favorite styles.
One of the main reasons I got into jazz was because I loved playing jazz guitar. My pop sensibilities are there in the songwriting, and my R&B background is the force behind all the grooves. All of those elements play a part in making this even a better album than Pacific Coast Highway.”
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