14

Sunna Gunnlaugs: Distilled

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Sunna Gunnlaugs: Distilled It is tempting to connect a musical aesthetic with a particular place. In fact, the whole idea of national music relies on the concept of an intrinsic national spirit, which creates an original musical expression. The only problem with a concept like national music is that it tends to pigeonhole musicians and create prejudice rather than adventurousness.

Then it is great to have an artist like Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs, who is good at turning things around. It wouldn't be far off the mark to see her as a kind of musical trickster, who refuses to be placed within a certain sound or tradition. She is aware of her Icelandic roots and has used the country's musical legacy on Songs from Iceland (Sunny Sky, 2009), but the tranquil folk melodies of Iceland is balanced by an elegant modernistic exploration of time signatures and an infectious swing. This musical blend of old and new also comes to the fore on Distilled, which finds Gunnlaugs in the congenial company of drummer Scott McLemore and bassist Thorgrimur Jonsson.

Whether they swing elegantly on "Momento," dive deep into balladic nostalgia on the title track or explore delicate textures on the brief haiku-like "spin 7," there's a sense of an organic meeting between tradition and modernism or what might be called an accessible experimentalism. Like the rest of the trio, Gunnlaugs seems to have the whole history of jazz at her fingertips and Distilled is the sweeping sound of a rich musical life that has been distilled into art, and like the best musical offerings, the album transgresses conventional boundaries, including those of geography.

Track Listing: Momento; Distilled; Switcheroo; Smiling Face; Gallop; Spin 6; The New Now; 24th Trip; Things You Should Know; From Time To Time; Opposite Side; Spin 7.

Personnel: Sunna Gunnlaugs: piano; Þorgrímur Jónsson: bass; Scott Mclemore: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Sunny Sky | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Ballast" CD/LP/Track Review Ballast
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 6, 2016
Read "Bloodroot" CD/LP/Track Review Bloodroot
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Duopoly" CD/LP/Track Review Duopoly
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Iridescent Clouds" CD/LP/Track Review Iridescent Clouds
by James Nadal
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "The Tenth Muse" CD/LP/Track Review The Tenth Muse
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Summer Skyshift" CD/LP/Track Review Summer Skyshift
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!