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Some Kind of Wonderful

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Album Review

The global influence of classic American pop songs is very apparent on Some Kind of Wonderful, Ilona Knopfler's impressive and multifaceted debut, which finds the Parisian-born singer (who spent some of her formative years in Hong Kong) tackling '60s and '70s favorites in a variety of styles. She shows her aggressive, bluesy Bonnie Raitt-flavored wares on the brass-funk driven twist through Grand Funk's "Some Kind of Wonderful" (featuring a feisty electric guitar solo by Pat Kelley), then goes jazz-trio cool on the Zombies' "It's the Time of the Season," revealing a different dimension of the tune (with the help of Eugene Maslov's piano). This kind of balance between pop/rock and different jazz forms carries throughout, and it's clear that Knopfler is most comfortable on the mid-tempo ballads, delivered with panache with jazz inflections. Although the grooves are organic and provide the most fun, Knopfler's deeper vocal artistry comes alive on gentle acoustic interpretations of "Alfie" and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do."


Born: Paris, France

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Ilona Knopfler made a strong impression with her 2005 recording for Mack Avenue, Live the Life. She was born in Paris to a mother who sang and a father who was a pianist. Knopfler began singing very early, performing at the age of six at the opening of a major hotel in Hong Kong. She traveled around the world with her parents. At 15 she was working as a backup singer for a rock band in Hong Kong when she discovered jazz. She spent three years singing with a trio and occasionally with two big bands...
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Some Kind of Wonderful, Ilona Knopfler
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