Sunna Gunnlaugs: Long Pair Bond (2012)
Gunnlaugs has a special knack for writing gospel-tinged and pop- influenced tunes where a sparse harmonic center serves to buoy lilting melodies played with a light touch. It is easy to get lost in this music, which possesses plenty of room for improvising but, much like the album's general mood and tempo, travels along a fairly set course. There are no pyrotechnics, displays of technical virtuosity, or emotional outbursts from any of the players. Gunnlaugs spent a decade living and playing in Brooklyn, but Long Pair Bond reflects more of a cool, melancholy and Scandinavian mood.
Gunnlaugs adapts two pieces from the world of pop. As a child, she was more attracted to organ than piano, and it's easy to hear why in her soulful and playful approach to the trio's delightful reading of Ben Harper's "Diamonds on the Inside." Rufus Wainwright's "Vicious World" closes out the record on a suitable note, offering a microcosm of the entire session. With a lovely melody, the wistful playing is beautiful to hear, but perhaps could use a shout or roar here and there.
Track Listing: Long Pair Bond; Thema; Autumnalia; Elsabella; Crab Cannon; Fyrir Brynhildi; Safe From The World; Diamonds on the Inside; Not What But How; Vicious World
Personnel: Sunna Gunnlaugs: piano; Þorgrímur Jónsson: bass; Scott McLemore: drums
Record Label: Sunny Sky
Style: Modern Jazz