5

Emilia Mårtensson: Ana

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz does indeed reside in one large house these days. Thanks to the world travels of Don Cherry and Randy Weston in the 1960s, the European free movement, The Latin voice, and the indelible mark of ECM Records, jazz has transmuted into folk music. It had to happen, what once was the province of the New Orleans bagnio and the metropolis spread to the rural peoples becoming global. Or, perhaps it was the countryside that has seeped into the city.

That intersection has fostered the Americana sounds in Bill Frisell's jazz and the Swedish folk in London- based vocalist Emilia Mårtensson's music. Is it jazz? Yes. Folk? Of course, but it is also pop and traditional song.

Ana follows And So It Goes . . . (Babel, 2012), co- led with pianist Barry Green. While the alt-pop influence is evident throughout, so too is the bond between singer and pianist. Like Tommy Flanagan and Ella Fitzgerald or Ralph Sharon's accompaniment of Tony Bennett, Green's touch piano is trusted counsel here.

Skillfully arranged with artful touches by The Fable String Quartet, the music is immediately enchanting, bewitching, and approachable. The title track, written for her Slovenian grandmother is a melancholy ballad of remembrance woven with a tinge of kinfolk sound. Mårtensson is a fan of 1970s pop covering, as she did on her previous disc, Paul Simon. Here it is "Everything Put Together Falls Apart" delivered in a spoken/sung bluesy manner not unlike that of Rickie Lee Jones with Green and Brazilain percussionist Adriano Adewale flavoring the blues with authentic spices.

Like all great singers her voice is neither pushed, nor distorted to broadcast her skills. Highlights here include her lyrics to Joe Henderson's "Black Narcissus," reconfigured as a simple folk melody, an a capella sung traditional piece " Vackra Manniska," and the mini- masterpiece "Learnt From Love."

Track Listing: Harvest Moon; Ana; Learnt From Love; Tomorrow Can Wait; När Som Jag Var På Mitt Adertonde År; Black Narcisuss; Everything Put Together Falls Apart; Ana (Reprise); Moffi's Song; Vackra Manniska.

Personnel: Emilia Mårtensson: vocals; Barry Green: piano; Sam Lasserson: double bass;  Adriano Adewale: percussion: The Fable String Quartet: Kit Massey: violin; Paloma Deike: violin; Becky Hopkin: viola;  Natalie Rozario: cello.

Title: Ana | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Babel Label

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Burning Meditation Album Reviews
Burning Meditation
By John Sharpe
April 18, 2019
Read Remembering Cecil Album Reviews
Remembering Cecil
By Dan McClenaghan
April 18, 2019
Read Apophenia Album Reviews
Apophenia
By Roger Farbey
April 18, 2019
Read Transcending the Sum Album Reviews
Transcending the Sum
By Chris May
April 17, 2019
Read Punkt.Vrt.Plastik Album Reviews
Punkt.Vrt.Plastik
By John Sharpe
April 17, 2019
Read Glitter Wolf Album Reviews
Glitter Wolf
By Jennifer DeMeritt
April 17, 2019
Read American Love Call Album Reviews
American Love Call
By John Bricker
April 17, 2019