Leon den Engelsen has seen many places along his musical journey from concert stages in Europe to New Orleans where he moved to study jazz and Rotterdam where he finished his Master’s degree at the Codarts conservatory, but it is the place he now calls home in the Swedish countryside that provided the inspiration for his full-length debut album. Home is a distillation of 30 hours of music the Dutch pianist and composer recorded in his Nordiq Sound studio during a seven day period in at the end of last year. The album is described as a musical depiction of the connection he has with his piano expressed through “the joy and freedom that comes with improvisation”.
For a long time I’ve wanted to make a strictly-improvised piano album. As an improvising musician, it is important to me to reflect the ways in which I am influenced by my mood, the instrument, the sound of the room, and other external factors. That’s why, in December 2021, I gave myself a week with the piano in my home studio in Sweden to improvise and record all of it with no direction, label, playlist or audience in mind.”
Winnowed down to 30 delightful minutes of lean, expressive, free-flowing music, Home is a charmer that should hit the sweet spot for any solo piano listener whether it be the jazz-inflected runs of “Jacht” which opens the proceedings, the nostalgic warmth of the title track, the delicate textures of “Keys”, or the lush tapestry of “Building Bridges” just to name a few of my own favorites. Enjoy a preview of the album in full for yourself in this exclusive preview in advance of its release this Friday.
Home will be available for download and streaming via Piano and Coffee Records beginning May 20, 2022 and features artwork by Celia Bayo.