Trine-Lise Vaering's earlier releases, When I Close My Eyes (1995) and In So Many Words (1998), can be found in the Bobo Stenson Discography. On those outings, both on Stunt Records, Vaering emerged as a poet, musician and vocalist, with a pure, technically assured and expressive voice. Her songs have well defined structures, with many twists and turns in harmony and phrasing. While not your typical jazz singer, Vaering writes music that is unmistakably jazz, living somewhere in the continuum running between Susanne Abbuehl's Compass and Monika Heidemann's Bright.
A number of the tunes here have added strings, giving the suggestion of a classical sensibility. Vaering's lyrics have an autobiographical ring to them, and are given art-rock/pop musical settings which morph into jazz during the instrumental improvisations. Saxophonist Fredrik Lundin continues to be a close musical colleague, composing and arranging "Night Wanderer," and playing terrific solos both on that tune and on "Honestly." A new bassist, Johannes Lundberg, arranged "The Princess" as a duo for voice and bass, and composed and arranged "Tonight."
Some higher profile names contribute to "Under A Painted Sky," which was composed by Jon Balke and has a string arrangement by Joakim Milder, who also co-produced the record with Vaering. Pianist Carsten Dahl earns kudos for his work throughout. His playing is incisive, always saying something interesting when soloing and providing empathetic accompaniment elsewhere.
When The Dust Has Settled is a development of the work on the two previous Stunt releases. The qualities that made those albums attractive are present again, with Vaering baring her soul and offering fine and thoughtful music that oscillates inside and outside of the jazz sphere.
If When The Dust Has Settled gave a hint of Vaering's desire to move, at least temporarily, beyond what might normally be called jazz, Trespassing completes the shift into the progressive rock arena. Tunes, lyrics and vocals are all by Vaering, except for "First Time," which is co-authored by Morton Dalsgaard, who also contributes a vocal. Johannes Lundberg returns on acoustic bass within an otherwise electric instrumentation.
A number of tunes, including "Weary From The Walk," "Just Another Little Girl" and "We Shan't Be Told," are actually from the time of the earlier albums, and the stylistic connection to that period in terms of song content and construction is strong. The songs still have delightful phrasing and word choices, which are put to music that continually surprises. Vaering's voice remains crystalline and pitch perfect, with a controlled vibrato that she uses sparingly.
If When The Dust Has Settled is closer to Abbuehl, Trespassing is closer to Heidemann. However, both albums are clearly stamped with Vaering's personality, and the listener feels as if invited into Vaering's house for a long, intense conversation.
Tracks and Personnel
When The Dust Has Settled
Tracks: Night Wanderer; Who I Am; October Song; Thoughts On Losing & Winning; The Princess; Under A Painted Sky; Under The Sun; Much Braver; Tonight; Honestly.
Personnel: Trine-Lise Vaering: vocals, acoustic guitar; Carsten Dahl: piano; Johannes Lundberg: double bass; Peter Danemo: drums; Anne Egendal: violin; Bjarne Boie Rasmussen: viola; Gert Inge Andersson: viola; Lars Holm Johansen: cello; Fredrik Lundin: tenor & soprano saxophone, bass flute; clarinet.
Tracks: Weary From The Walk; Just Another Little Girl; Mutiny & Treason; Love Love Love; What The Future Holds; Reunion; Growing Pains; Only Because It's You; First Time; Love Him To Pieces; Odds & Ends.
Personnel: Trine-Lise Vaering: vocals; Thor Madsen: guitars; Jonas Berg: keyboards; Johannes Lundberg: Kaev Gliemann: keyboards; double bass; Anders Hentze: drums; Mikkel Hess: drums