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Tine Bruhn: Nearness (2013)

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Tine Bruhn: Nearness How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

With the rapid evolution of jazz in the past generation, a simple performance approach offers the benefit of showing from where we have come. Denmark-cum-New York City native vocalist Tine Bruhn joins pianist Johnny O'Neal
Johnny O'Neal
Johnny O'Neal
b.1956
piano
(late of drummer Art Blakey
Art Blakey
Art Blakey
1919 - 1990
drums
's Jazz Messengers and vibraphonist Milt Jackson
Milt Jackson
Milt Jackson
1923 - 1999
vibraphone
's band) and saxophonist Stacy Dillard for a collection of ten tried-and-true standards, simply and elegantly presented within the intimate confines of the duo-trio format. Part of understanding how jazz got where it is today is an understanding the original intent of the composers of the canon of jazz standards, before they were transmogrified, first by the likes of saxophonists Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
and John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
, and trumpeter Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
, and more recently beyond, as exemplified by the brilliant output of labels like ECM and Winter & Winter. Bruhn's approach is from that point of simplicity, where she presents the music as written, demonstrating the rich ground from which modern jazz emerged.

Bruhn's assembly, all ballads, have been the vehicles of many instrumental interpretations, particularly saxophonists. Alto saxophonist Art Pepper
Art Pepper
Art Pepper
1925 - 1982
sax, alto
was fond of playing the Burke/Van Heusen diamond "But Beautiful," while Dexter Gordon
Dexter Gordon
Dexter Gordon
1923 - 1990
sax, tenor
and Gene Ammons
Gene Ammons
Gene Ammons
1925 - 1974
sax, tenor
favored "My Foolish Heart," and Charlie Parker enjoyed reworking "Easy To Love." Bruhn's performance of the same material reveals why these were popular instrumentals. Her voice possesses the paradox of vulnerability, burnt with a certain durable texture. O'Neal's piano support is both directive and supportive. He reveals those characteristics of the best vocal accompanists—understated harmonic support with an inventive solo space, as exemplified by the likes of pianists Tommy Flanagan
Tommy Flanagan
Tommy Flanagan
1930 - 2001
piano
and Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
1912 - 1986
piano
. Dillard adds light hues to the disc.

Simple is as important as complex and is often more revealing, and Bruhn achieves both beautiful and informative simplicity on Nearness.

Track Listing: I’ll Be Seeing You; But Beautiful; Easy to Love; The Nearness of You; If I Should Lose You; My Foolish Heart; Just in Time; Never Let Me Go; All of You; Skylark.

Personnel: Tine Bruhn: vocals; Johnny O’Neal: piano; Stacy Dillard: tenor saxophone (2, 4, 5, 7).

Record Label: Self Produced

Style: Vocal


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