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Album Review

The first album on guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel's new label is something of a departure for him. Related only tangentially to jazz, it consists mostly of Muthspiel's musical settings of lyrics by Bernd Hagg, which are sung by Rebekka Bakken; Bakken is accompanied by Muthspiel, saxophonist Chris Cheek, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Brian Blade. How does it work? Quite nicely, really. Bakken is a fine and expressive singer with a voice somewhere between Marianne Faithfull and Syd Straw, and Muthspiel's arrangements are complex and yet accessible; on songs like "Sister" and "Angela" there are moments of pure pop bliss, but things are generally a bit more angular and abstract than that. Hagg's lyrics, which are written in English, sometimes distract; his grasp of English idiom is not entirely firm (a line like "Can I pay now for the chance that concocted us here?" is, sadly, not atypical). But Muthspiel's music and Bakken's fine singing are more than enough to counterbalance the occasionally distressing lyrical misstep. Recommended.


Born: 1970 in Oslo, Norway

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Nordic folk-jazz chanteuse Rebekka Bakken was the most successful exponent of a new generation of Scandinavian jazz singers that also included Silje Nergaard, Sidsel Endresen, and Solveig Slettahjell. Born in Oslo in 1970, Bakken studied violin and piano as a child, and in 1995 relocated to New York City to pursue a professional music career. There she paired with Austrian-born guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, and together they toured the local nightclub circuit as a duo. In time Bakken also befriended...
Full bio
Daily Mirror, Rebekka Bakken
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 01 January 2000

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