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Miles Left Behind

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Minnesota-based guitarist and composer Thomas Nordlund released his second album as a bandleader and producer, “Miles Left Behind,” May 7, 2018 on Shifting Paradigm Records.

Tracked in a single four-hour session with his quartet featuring Ben Abrahamson (banjo), Doan Roessler (bass), and Zach Schmidt (drums), “Miles Left Behind” picks up where his debut “Divide Avenue” left off, extending ideas about lyrical melody and non-standard form. It also contains elements of atmospheric sound design, processed from the sampled harmonics, open strings, and other noises of his guitars.

Opening tracks “Becoming” and “Even Long After” expand the vocabulary defined on “Divide Avenue” into more complex harmony, odd time signatures, and extended improvisation. A singular arrangement of “Aerial Boundaries” by Michael Hedges precedes the nostalgic slide-song “Where Summer Had Gone”. After reinterpreting the older “Wandering Daughter”, the record closes with the through-composed “Circling Plains” and a slow-burning arrangement of “Si” by Nils Frahm.

“Miles Left Behind” was recorded and mixed by Jason McGlone at The Hideaway Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota and mastered by Rob Schlette at Anthem Mastering in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Miles Left Behind

by Thomas Nordlund

Tracked in a single four-hour session with his quartet featuring Ben Abrahamson (banjo), Doan Roessler (bass), and Zach Schmidt (drums), “Miles Left Behind” picks up where his debut “Divide Avenue” left off, extending ideas about lyrical melody and non-standard form. It also contains elements of atmospheric sound design, processed from the sampled harmonics, open strings, and other noises of his guitars.

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It is hard for an atmospheric jazz guitarist to make music that is spacious but not aimless. Thomas Nordlund provides the template for it on his new disc, Miles Left Behind, unfurling lines with a steely confidence and stealthy high-ambition while abetted by an attuned rhythm section and a beautifully understated banjo.
— Britt Robson, CityPages
Minneapolis guitarist Thomas Nordlund conjures a sense of impending loss through his music. His six-string’s bluesy expressions evoke images of the heartland and the desperate feeling that America’s halcyon days could very well be gone for good.
— Jerard Fagerberg, CityPages
Nordlund’s expertise lies in textures. His sound, distorted but warm, is captivating. He has a penchant for melody, and a knack for vibe....he breaks off flurries of notes with the precision of a sage. There is depth in the sound of his guitar.
— Adam Meckler, Jazz Police