'After All...' was recorded in 6 studios on 3 continents by a cast of 13 musicians. The CD features material composed over 5 decades, not a bad trick for an artist who recently turned 50. Nordstrom celebrates 35 years as a singer/songwriter with this recording.
Edmonton-based Jeremy Sagar oversaw production & co-wrote the title song with Monte, during one of the sessions with drummer Pat Steward at Helicon Studio in Crofton. Sagar & Nordstrom mixed the project with engineer, Stew Kirkwood in Edmonton at Sound Extractor Studio.
The title 'After All...' indicates the arduous journey of the project, which is divided into two sections: "Songs of Fate & Mortality" & "Pt. 2 Ptarmigan & the Waiting".
Part one features recent and new compositions while the second premieres previously unproduced Ptarmigan material from early 70s. "The Waiting" is a suite composed in 1969. The reference to Ptarmigan (Nordstrom's first recording, produced by Paul Horn on Columbia Records) represents a return to form for Monte as an artist.
'After All...' features Monte's powerful vocal range, supported by background vocals by Nick Jarvie and by Edmonton's Mike & Michelle Sabourin, a creative & dynamic father/daughter combination.
Nordstrom took a year to develop his arrangements to the piano, demonstrating his commitment to the material. His piano is underscored by the inspired Hammond organ of Larry Blatchford.
There is a distinct retro vibe to the album, orchestrated by Monte's use of a vintage Mellotron. This provides an eerie, majestic ambience; at times recalling Procol Harum or an earthier Moody Blues. While the recording could also be compared to a modern band such as Coldplay, there is no mistaking Nordstrom's rich vocals & guitar.
Many solo passages feature Monte's fluid harmonica, at times supported by the soprano sax of Doug Rhodes. Jeremy, Monte & Maryann Nordstrom contributed hand percussion, while a digereedoo performance by James Batchelor adds a mystic quality to the Dias/Lithgow composition "Song to the East".
Keizo Endo, a founding member of the progressive rock group, Wappa Gappa recorded several bass tracks in Tokyo.
Peter Gustavsson contributed guitar & vocal tracks, translated the song titles & sang a chorus of the song "Abandoned Memories" in Swedish. He recorded in Varberg, Sweden.
The CD's cover art features a mandala, representing the circle of life. Monte created the watercolour painting in 1974. Nordstrom's photography portrays how the environment shaped the spirit of the music. Many photos depict the beauty of Vancouver Island & reveal connections to the lyrics.
The songs' titles were translated into 10 languages, referring to the universality of their message. The CD is beautifully enhanced with Kanji translations by Jiho Kongo, a Japanese zen monk. Longtime friend & promotor, David Pite, introduced Monte to "Hosan" during Monte's tour of Kyushu in 2001.
Articles By Monte
1974 LP on CD