All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
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
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com