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One On One

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Album Review

Not overwhelmed with the song now playing on this album? Be patient, the next track may be something more to your liking. This album is a musical smogarsboard of songs cutting across a variety of vocal genre. The play list runs from the traditional "Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child," through Hoagy Carmichael's ultimate standard "Stardust" through John Coltrane's poem-song "A Love Supreme" with a little of 1960s popsters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller thrown in. It would be unkind to say that the singer is simply trying out everything until she finds something she does well. Not so with Karen Krog, one of the finer and more inventive jazz singers of the last three decades. One on One is a compilation of three different recording sessions Krog made as part of a duo performances. Krog and premier bass player Red Mitchell are on the first six tracks, recorded in 1977. Also recorded in the same year, Krog and Swedish pianist Bengt Hallberg are on tracks seven through fourteen. The last four tracks, recorded in 1980, are devoted to Krog's work with Nils Lindberg, Swedish composer and organist. There are not many singers who would risk singing with just a bass or an organ as accompaniment. The vocalist and bass player must have great musical rapport given the limitations of the instrument. As far as an organ goes it, if not delicately played, can overwhelm the vocalist. The fact that it comes off incredibly well is a tribute not only to Krog, but to Mitchell and Lindberg. The Krog/Mitchell sessions are especially haunting. Mitchell plays cello like passages on Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." His phrasing and articulation seem to be made especially for Krog's vocal inflections and phrasing. Hallberg has been a top performer in Europe for several years and has recorded with Krog before. Lindberg is a composer and, as is evident on the almost sacred rendition of "A Love Supreme," a church organist. This album offers a over an hour of a wide variety of music all showcasing Karen Krog's amazing vocal virtuosity.


Born: 15 May 1937 in Oslo, Norway

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An adventurous singer who is quite versatile, Karin Krog is able to sing anything from standards to fairly free improvisations. She made her recording debut in 1964, appeared at many jazz festivals in Europe in the mid-'60s, and in 1967, came to the U.S., performing and recording with the Don Ellis Orchestra and Clare Fischer's trio. A world traveler based in Europe, Krog has recorded fairly steadily through the years, using such sidemen as Kenny Drew, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, Jan Garbarek,...
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