Steve Dobrogosz is a Power Line reader, an American expatriate living in Sweden and a composer of multifarious talents. His new recording is Free Country, a 70-minute collection of improvisations inspired by country music. I’ve listened to it several times through and can only say I love it.
In addition to the country/blues inspiration, I hear melodic invention throughout. The late, great rock pianist Nicky Hopkins used to do something like this within the confines of conventional rock song structure. I’ve never heard it quite like Steve does it here, but it is beautiful.
I wrote Steve to express my admiration for the collection and ask him what he was up to in it. He wrote back:
I sat down to record an American “country piano” album, a project I’d had in mind for years. The palette broadened a bit beyond traditional country during the sessions – I kept playing as long as I could hear America singing in the keys. The tracks began as spontaneous improvisations (“free country” – “free jazz”) then were edited, lightly or heavily, on the sequencer until they essentially became compositions, but with their improvisational flow, hopefully, still intact.
Released digitally at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, no physical copies.