Jazz CD Reviews – mid-October 2017

October 18, 2017

Jackie Allen Rose Fingered Dawn (Avant Bass 2017)

An especially attractive singer, Jackie Allen has a mature vocal sound, and during the past thirty-plus years she has recorded several albums. This is her twelfth and here as on most of her albums and live dates she is joined by her husband, bassist Hans Sturm. On this session, the compatibility of wife and husband is especially apparent as all the songs are original compositions by Hans (music and words). In all the songs it is clear that Jackie is very comfortable and this is confirmed by Hans’s comment that “if she doesn’t connect with a particular lyric, I go back and rework it until she’s satisfied.” Many of the songs heard here have origins in aspects of the couple’s lives, beliefs, interests and emotions and the treatment, by composer and performer, bring to the fore these important elements. Poetry is important to Hans and this is immediately apparent in the title track, which takes its cue from imagery evoked in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, which includes Dawn being described as “rosy-fingered”, words that have become an almost clichéd way to describe that time of day, while on Time, Hans deliberately and wittily makes use of just about every cliché that has ever been used about time itself. In contrast, NOLA Love Song musically reflects the city of New Orleans through its well-deserved reputation for good food and its easy-going ambiance. Food also makes an appearance (as do automobiles) in Bel Air BBQ.jackieA Hans’s poetic reflections are displayed throughout and particularly in The Laugh That Is You, Sweet Dreams and Moon On The Rise, all of which are pleasingly romantic. The poetic atmosphere continues through the last track, Steal The Night, which is inspired by the lines: “Do not go gentle into that good night,” through which Dylan Thomas memorably urges the reader/listener to rage against that which awaits us all. Throughout, Jackie gives intelligent and beautifully nuanced readings of the lyrics (which all appear in the liner) and surely many of these songs will find their way into the repertoire of others. Jackie and Hans are joined here by Victor Garcia, trumpet, Andy Baker, trombone, Geoff Bradfield, soprano and tenor saxophones and bass clarinet, Tom Larson, keyboards, John Moulder, guitar, and Dane Richieson, drums and percussion. Lovely music that will bring lasting pleasure.

For more on Jackie Allen, including booking, contact Mouthpiece Music.

Sinne Eeg Dreams (Artist Share AS 0153)

This is Danish jazz singer Sinne Eeg’s ninth album as leader and is the second to be recorded in the USA. In collaboration with Sinne here are Jacob Christoffersen, piano, Larry Koonse, guitar, Scott Colley, bass, and Joey Baron, drums. There are also moments where background vocals from Warny Mandrup, Lasse Nilsson and Jenny Nilsson are heard. Four of the ten songs heard here are standards, all of them being imaginatively interpreted. On What Is This Thing Called Love there are notable contributions from Joey and Scott, while on Falling In Love With Love and I’ll Remember April there is highly sympathetic accompaniment and solo playing by Larry. On Anything Goes Sinne is accompanied only by Jacob’s crisply eloquent piano.sinne There are also four of Sinne’s compositions (words and music) and two co-compositions, these being The Bitter End (with Søren Sko) and Head Over High Heels (with Mads Mathias). On Aleppo Sinne addresses a contemporary issue, focusing her lyric on the fate of children helplessly caught up in a seemingly unending international crisis. Special note must be made of the playing and arranging of Jacob whose long musical relationship with Sinne has allowed them to develop and intuitive understanding that is apparent throughout. Sinne’s vocal sound is fluid, melodic, and thoroughly charming. Her phrasing is that of a master and this delightful album will appeal not only to her growing army of fans but also to all who love to hear the best in today’s jazz singing.

For more on Sinne Eeg, including booking, contact Mouthpiece Music.

All albums available at Amazon.

Jazz CD Reviews – September 2015

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.sinne eeg 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.locke 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.deluna 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.Hannah-Burge-Green-River-Sessions1 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.

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