How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Sidsel Storm belongs to the cream of the crop of new Danish female jazz singers, including names such as Sinne Eeg and Malene Mortensen. Since releasing her self- titled debut in 2008, Storm has made herself a solid name on the Danish jazz scene and Swedish Lullaby, her second effort, suggests she's ready for worldwide attention.
Swedish Lullaby shows a singer who has matured surprisingly fast. Storm's voice shines with a wide palette that leaves room for both sensual easiness and a mellowness and depth that fits the restrained pain of the lyrics in a song like "Stolen Years" with the chorus: "Trust is replaced by fear, / And around every corner / Are stolen years."
Clearly, Storm isn't afraid to delve deep inside the darker shades of a song, and as lyricist, she avoids shallowness and clichés, sticking instead to a simple, poetic language that gives plenty of possibilities for her inventive phrasing.
Besides eight originals, there's also room for two standards and especially Mercer and Mandel's "Emily" which receives a fresh reading with bassist Jesper Thorn playing a thoughtful intro before Storm wraps her voice around the melody and caresses it until drummer Morten Lund and pianist Lars Jansson
steps in and makes the tune swing like a joyful carousel.
Throughout, the album sports inventive arrangements with subtle use of strings and the lonely murmur of a hazy trumpet, but it is the chamber-like format of vocal, bass, piano, and drums that lies at the heart of the session which comes across as a quiet revelation.
Track Listing: Swedish Lullaby; The Day He Returned; Within A Lifetime; All Or Nothing
At All; Stolen Years; Hazy Mind; Emily; Don't Turn The Lights Out;
Secret Game; Playing My Heart.
Personnel: Sidsel Storm: vocal; Lars Jansson: piano; Morten Lund: drums,
percussion; Jesper Thorn: bass; Gunnar Halle: trumpet; Alexander
Kraglund: violin, harmonica; Carl-Oscar Østerlind: cello; Peter
Otto: hammond organ.