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As a jazz singer, it always takes courage to sing your own songs. No one questions the quality of the familiar standards and there is also the aspect of tradition, knowing that the song can be phrased in a certain way. But sometimes singing your own songs becomes a necessity. Interpreting the works of other songwriters isn't enough for a singer who is also a songwriter.
Thera Hoeijmans is a Danish jazz singer, but she is also a songwriter and on her album Another Mile, she has chosen to include songs from two of the greatest songwriters of all time: Joni Mitchell and Jimmy Webb. On Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," Hoeijmans brings out the poetry and quiet despair of the song while the sparse accompaniment from Pojken Flensborg's piano and Jacob Venndt's harmonica add to the ambiance of the song.
The reading of Webb's "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" is just as strong, with Flensborg sprinkling stardust from his piano and Venndt providing skeletal bass patterns and sweeping romantic tones from his harmonica.
With the inclusion of compositions from two masters of songwriting, Hoeijmans doesn't make it easy for herself, but her own material holds up very well. Ballads like "Another Mile," "Kiss Me Love Me" and "Dance With Me" possess a tender poetry and Hoeijmans voice is clear and pure and flows like water from a deep well.
The chamber-like setting with voice, piano, harmonica and glockenspiel allows the song to breathe. There's room for contemplation, but also soft swing on "Dazzling Night."
Another Mile is a record filled with personality. Hoeijmans is more than a jazz singer with a beautiful voice. On "Don't Lie To Me" she sings about "A poet with no pen." Clearly this isn't Hoeijmans. She is a songwriter who has stories to tell and her musical narratives are worth hearing.
Track Listing: Cry Me A River; Another Mile; Both Sides Now; Kiss Me Love Me; Dazzling
Nights; Don't Lie To Me; Dance With Me; Misty Heart; Spinning Around;
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress; Mr Right.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.