September 4, 2015
SINNE EEG EEG FONNESBÆK (Stunt STUCD 15082)
A thoroughly delightful album by an exceptionally good jazz singer, this must surely extend Sinne Eeg’s already glowing reputation still further. This reputation, forged in Denmark, was extended throughout Scandinavia and then the rest of Europe before reaching Japan and China. Now, she is making her mark in the USA and this album (her eighth, I think) will surely add to the acclaim with which she has been greeted. Sinne’s previous album, Face The Music, won awards in Denmark and France. Recently, there have been a select few singers who have chosen to record with accompaniment by only a bass player. Here Sinne is joined by Thomas Fonnesbæk and their musical empathy is apparent from the first notes heard. They open with a heartfelt performance of Willow Weep For Me, and all the promise suggested here is fulfilled as Sinne and Thomas deliver exceptional interpretations of standards, including Summertime, Body And Soul, Beautiful Love, Come Rain Or Shine, and You Don’t Know What Love Is. There are also pleasing versions of the rarely heard Evil Gal Blues, by Lionel Hampton and Leonard Feather, and Fellini’s Waltz, composed by Enrico Pieranunzi with lyrics by Lorraine Feather. Sinne’s vocal sound is rich, fluid and nowhere is there any hint that she is not singing in her own language. Thomas mostly plays acoustic bass, his sound full and resonant; he is also composer of Taking It Slow, with lyrics by Helle Hansen. This is an outstanding album, jazz singing at its very best and strongly recommended to all who love to hear good songs sung well.
Just in case you are wondering (and I was) Sinne’s name is pronounced sēe-neh . ēe.
For more information on Sinne, including booking arrangements, go to Mouthpiece Music.
JOE LOCKE LOVE IS A PENDULUM (Motéma 234041)
Although the vibraphone has become an established part of the jazz scene, even today there are still only relatively few outstanding performers on this instrument. Among these few, Joe Locke is a leading exponent of contemporary jazz and improvised music. In this genre, Joe plays with fiery verve and exceptional skill. This new release is also a showcase for his talent as a composer, a facet of his career that has become more prominent in the past dozen or so years. Central to this album is his five-part suite inspired by Love Is A Pendulum, a poem by eclectic New York singer Barbara Sfraga. Each of the movements takes its title from the first line of the poem’s five verses (printed in the liner notes) and the composer finding hauntingly evocative themes that reflect the source. Throughout, Joe’s writing and playing is richly melodic and he is aided by like-thinking collaborators not only in his core group, pianist Robert Rodriguez, bassist Ricardo Rodriguez and drummer Terreon Gully, which supports and drives the front line players, but also his guests. Of these, tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin, alto saxophonist Rosario Giuliani and guitarist Paul Bollenback contribute notable solos. Also heard are Victor Provost (steel pan) and Theo Bleckmann (voice). Individually and collectively, these musicians explore and develop concepts that are wholly attuned to today’s jazz and improvised music scene.
And two new self-produced Latin-leaning albums are:
CATINA DeLUNA BRAZILIAN PROJECT (own label CDLLB-01)
Singing here with her group, Lado B, Catina DeLuna has chosen music from her homeland for the aptly titled Brazilian Project. Among the songs she has chosen are some by Antônio Carlos Jobim (Garota De Ipanema, Chovendo Na Roseira, Fotografia), Milton Nascimento and Vinicíus de Moreira. Catina is accompanied here by Otmaro Ruiz (keyboards), Larry Koonse (guitar), Edwin Livingston (bass), and Aaron Serafty (drums), along with several guests who include Bob Sheppard (flute). Catina’s voice is attractively rich and she interprets her repertoire with care and understanding.
HANNAH BURGÉ GREEN RIVER SESSIONS (own label)
This debut album by Hannah Burgé brings touches of Latin America, contemporary pop and jazz to World Music. This Canadian singer and musical collaborators deliver an album that will appeal to many. Among the instrumentalists allied with Hannah are Robi Botos (keyboards), Paco Luviano (bass) and Mark Kelso (drums), while guests include include Hendrik Muerkens (harmonica).
As always, these albums can be found at Amazon as well as many other on-line and walk-in stores.