May 30, 2012

Arabesque, Caecilie Norby.

Caecilie Norby is an established jazz soloist in Europe, and particularly celebrated in her home land, Denmark. She has a rather deep, whisky soaked, raspy voice tone, which blends nicely to this dark feeling album.

I personally find this album a fit for those with unique or adventurous musical taste. It's a potpourri of jazz vocal style sung on classical tunes, yet contain the sparseness of arrangement technique that can only be pulled off by Scandinavian producer, Lars Danielsson. Now if Lars seems like a familiar name, think Voyage by Youn Son Nah reviewed in this blog on 16 September 2010 released by the same Record Label ACT.

The album starts with a distinctive piano solo, interspersed with a double bass backing while Caecilie sings about The Dead Princess. This is a rather sad song, as it's title suggest. Another unique song that caught my attention is titled No Air(track 3). Here we have a vocal filling lyrics that takes after the classical Nocturne tune. The mood is at once dark and some what quirky, yet so very artsie in a rather sparse and quiet arrangement, a unique Lars Danielsson signature touch.

Track 8, Pavane Opus 50 is yet another interesting vocalized take on the on a familiar piano tune, only this time adopted from a jazz standard by Faure Pavane.  Hvirvelvinden(track 12) is yet another creative vocal take on an age old tune. Again the mood is sombre at best, not that I understood any word of the song. Track 14 titled Nocturne is not quite what it seems, as it's instrumental, mostly solo piano accompanied by a flugel horn.

It's hard to describe the songs here, unless one hears it for one self then it all makes sense, what I am trying to write about here, the artistic values that is. Thankfully, the recording quality of this album is much easier to describe in a word, it's excellent, as one would expect from an Scandinavian audiophile label, ACT. My sound description here is based on my downloaded 24/96 hi-rez FLAC file, played back via my Bryston BDP/BDA-1 combo.

Here's a uniquely executed concept album for those who wishes to explore the outer limits of their musical appetite.  

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