Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Frans Bak feat. Sinne Eeg, Softer Than You Know, Storyville ****

Intimate, poignant, touching: an ideal Sunday morning listen - Frans Bak's tunes with reliably wise and knowing song lyrics by Helle Hansen are extremely appealing. Sinne Eeg's vocals have incredible clarity - you won't find better diction or …

Published: 5 May 2024. Updated: 47 days.

Intimate, poignant, touching: an ideal Sunday morning listen - Frans Bak's tunes with reliably wise and knowing song lyrics by Helle Hansen are extremely appealing. Sinne Eeg's vocals have incredible clarity - you won't find better diction or purity of voice on any release recently. Sick of never being able to catch all the words? You won't be ailing or complaining. There is no well meaning if tedious virtue signalling of any kind on this Danish release which is refreshing. Because the art of the song and the power of humane expression within it says more than any polemical ephemerality no matter how well honed can ever achieve. Instead the lyrics speak to the heart. Saxist Fredrik Lundin crops up enjoyably on the bluesy 'Stay With Me'. And the pace drummer Emil de Waal sets is measured exactly right for the mood. Personnel also includes US guitarist Peter Sprague (good on 'When I'm Near You' and in his Mark Knopfler-like introduction to the title track and the homespun 'Lonely Waltz').

Sprague, who recorded on the Xanadu label issuing such albums of his own as Dance of the Universe in the late-1970s, goes way back with Eeg - check out the pair together playing live on the luminous Sprague/Randy Phillips ballad 'Rain' in the YouTube video dating to 2015 above

Bak's use of electric piano on 'I Will Never Let You Down' and elsewhere contributes so deftly as the ideal conversationalist - one who listens and shows empathy in response musically - to the many simple easy listening pleasures here. Another album to add to the top jazz vocals albums of the year to date that's clear. Songs like 'Out of the Blue' - that act like an amulet against fear - are very special indeed.

Tags: Reviews

Found sounds around - 10 top jazz tracks

Updated daily - specially selected - the 10 new tracks that you need to stop right now and listen to asap. Saturday's playlist Friday's playlist Thursday's playlist Wednesday's playlist Tuesday's playlist And click for Monday's plus a list for …

Published: 5 May 2024. Updated: 47 days.

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Updated daily - specially selected - the 10 new tracks that you need to stop right now and listen to asap.

Saturday's playlist

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Friday's playlist

030524 FridayPlaylist

Thursday's playlist

ThursPlaylist020524

Wednesday's playlist

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Tuesday's playlist

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And click for Monday's plus a list for each day last week

Orlando Le Fleming - photo: Luke Marantz

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