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Sine Egg backed by Danish Radio Big Band

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    Posted: 22 Jan 2020 at 8:35pm

Already a bona fide star in her native Denmark, jazz singer SINNE EEG has in recent years been weaving her spell in performances throughout Europe and the United States, where audiences and critics alike have responded enthusiastically to her dark, alluring voice, rich timbre, impeccable intonation, inherent sense of swing and remarkably natural scatting ability that recalls her own vocal jazz heroes, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Anita O'Day. On WE'VE JUST BEGUN, her winning collaboration with the 19-piece DANISH RADIO BIG BAND and 9th album overall, Eeg sings with signature soulfulness, sassy spirit and jazzy abandon on a program of three well-chosen standards, a swinging adaptation of a tune from a vintage Danish film, and five affecting originals with Eeg as composer and/or lyricist.
Eeg released her self-titled debut in 2003 and gained international attention with her critically acclaimed 2007 album, Waiting for Dawn, and Remembering You in 2008. Her latest, We've Just Begun, is her most impressive outing to date.
The collection kicks off with the swinging title track, composed by Eeg with lyrics by Mark Winkler, which has Eeg belting out in bold, sexy fashion against Peter Jensen's ambitious arrangement. Tenor saxophonist HANS ULRIK also turns in a stellar solo here. The engaging jazz waltz "Like a Song" showcases her persuasive storytelling against the backdrop of Jesper Riis' lush arrangement. "In that song I was trying to describe how the impact and the traces of people you have in your life live on in you forever," she explained. HENRIK GUNDE offers a beautifully unhurried piano solo on this easy swinger before Eeg enters the picture with her accomplished scat chops, and the horns following her note for note with indelibly tight unisons. "I like to have little sections in a tune where I work more as a part of the band instead of always being a soloist on top of the band," she said. "I've always liked to be very involved in the process when I'm having big band arrangements made for me. In the cases of 'Hvorfor Er Lykken Så Lunefuld' and 'Like A Song,' I first created a little vocal solo that is improvised/composed. The melody that came out of that was then orchestrated by the arranger, Jesper Riis."
She follows with "Those Ordinary Things," a reflective ballad with a haunting Riis arrangement and an expressive tenor solo by Ulrik. "I co-wrote the lyrics to that with a Danish colleague, Helle Hansen," Eeg explained. "I started writing the song about how we in general tend to miss the little details in everyday life and how we often don't understand the importance of things until they've gone. And as I wrote the lyric, I decided to turn it into a love story."
"Talking to Myself," a jaunty big band swinger underscored by KASPAR VADSHOLT'S walking bass lines and SØREN FROST'S supple brushwork, again showcases Eeg's considerable scatting prowess and features a potent guitar solo from PER GADE. Jensen's arrangement of the aforementioned "Hvofor Er Lykken Så Lunefuld," a tune written by Karen Jönsson for the 1937 Danish movie A Consummate Gentleman, opens with brooding introspection before segueing to some jauntily swinging big band jazz with great scatting by Eeg and slick counterpoint by the horns. The singer offered this translation of the Danish lyrics: "Why is happiness so capricious, why is joy so brief? Why is life so pointlessly hard? Why trust in love and why smile at the thought of it? Because the smile will turn into tears before the sun sets! And the guy you think cares about you, maybe he'll leave you. And everything he gave you his word for and swore to is forgotten. Why is happiness so capricious, why is joy so brief? And him whom you love, why does he go away?"
Riis' imaginative take on the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic "My Favorite Things" shifts radically from delicate 5/4 to a smoking 4/4 section, with burning solos from tenor saxophonist FREDERIK MENZIES and drummer SØREN FROST along the way. "That particular arrangement was actually created by me and my band in 2010," she explained. "Jesper Riis built the big band arrangement around that."
The singer is in particularly sultry voice on Riis' soothing arrangement of "Samba Em Comum," which has her alternating between Portuguese and English lyrics. "The past many years I've been listening to so much Brazilian music," she said. "You can probably hear that in some of my own compositions. My husband has lived and worked in Brazil and he shares this passion for Brazilian music with me. He speaks the language and helps me with the pronunciation." Trombonist Peter Dahlgren contributes a beautifully burnished solo here. Eeg further explained the backstory to this alluring number: 'Samba Em Comum' is a comment on a decision to shut down two of our beloved radio stations in Denmark - two of the very few radio stations where you could listen to less commercial music like jazz, folk, and roots music. That inspired me to write this song about the synergy and love between musicians and listeners."
The late arranger Roger Neumann, to whom Eeg dedicates the album, conjures up a moody atmosphere for the singer's poignant reading of "Detour Ahead," a 1948 jazz standard written by Herb Ellis, Johnny Frigo and Lou Carter, and popularized by pianist Bill Evans on his 1962 album, Waltz for Debby. Eeg's voice is mesmerizing here while NICOLAI SCHULTZ delivers a virtuosic flute solo on this sumptuous offering. Neumann also provides the swaggering arrangement on Eeg's sassy reading of "Comes Love," a 1939 Broadway show tune later covered by everyone from Sarah Vaughan to Joni Mitchell. Eeg's relaxed scatting and fetching interpretation here is as natural and playful as the Divine One herself, and PETER FUGLSANG kicks in an outstanding clarinet solo to boot.
The collection closes with Eeg's uplifting, gospel-tinged anthem, "To a New Day." "That song was originally called 'Ode to a New Day' and was written by my good friend Martin Schack, a Danish pianist and composer," she explained. "I used to play in a band with Martin, and they would always play this as an instrumental before I would come on stage. The song has always made me so happy and it just made me want to sing! I did my best to add lyrics that capture the mood of the song. It's about optimism, forgiveness, love for oneself and hope." A perfect message for these tumultuous times.
Stunt Records released WE'VE JUST BEGUN throughout Europe on November 7, 2019. BFM Jazz will release the album on February 21, 2020 for the rest of the world.


Edited by js - 31 Jan 2020 at 2:40pm
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