All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

340

Solveig Slettahjell: Good Rain

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
This fourth release by Norwegian vocalist Solveig Slettahjell and the Slow Motion Quintet offers another magical experience. On Good Rain, these creative and busy musicians expand the musical language that they began to explore on their previous release, Pixiedust (Curling Legs, 2005). In addition to Slettahjell, the group includes trumpeter Sjur Miljeteig, formerly of the jazz-pop-electronica outfit Jaga Jazzist and one of the leaders of the art-rock group Friko; keyboardist Morten Qvenild, who leads In The Country and Susanna and the Magical Orchestra; bassist Mats Eilertsen; and drummer Per Oddvar Johansen. The quintet flirts with pop and art-rock and even trip-hop, aiming to position the jazz vocalist as an artist again within a popular form, but avoiding banalities and without giving up its intelligent elitist aroma.

Slettahjell is faithful to her "slow motion" concept, conscious of every detail and nuance of each phrase, and her natural, leisurely alto shines throughout the eleven songs. The sonic palette of the ensemble is much more varied, enveloping Slettahjell's warm vocals with sounds that recall productions by such art-rock sonic explorers as David Sylvian or Talk Talk. The sensitive playing of all players adds vibrant layers that caress and reinforce the massages of the poetic songs.

All the songs revolve around the theme of belief, often an abstract and secular one—in Slettahjell, empowering herself after a failed relationship, or in nature—and they offer some consolation, quite often sounding melancholic. The goal? "To be lonely in a good way," as she sings in Qvenild's "Another Day." Slettahjell's innocent and modest narration of life happiness, despair, fate and hope succeeds in creating a peaceful intimacy capable of touching and melting even the greatest cynic.

Slettahjell seeks some calmness and reconciliation in "Where Do You Run To," faith in her lone self in "Another Day." She trusts fate in "Don't Look Back," draws hope from dreams in "Colour Lullabye," and strongly convinces about the joys of lovemaking on "We Were Indians." Her beautiful a cappella version of V.O. Fossett's gospel song "Do Lord" serves as an introduction to the dark, anguished, modern gospelish "My Oh My," penned by Miljeteig. On the Peder Kjellsby-penned "Good Rain" she refers to "the rain washing the stains of / Another broken day."

As on Pixiedust, Slettahjell beautifully interperts another poem by Emily Dickinson, "The Moon." The playful, minimalist version of Johnny Mercer's "P.S. I Love You," the last song on this release, offers some hopeful closure.

Beautiful.


Track Listing: Where Do You Run To; Another Day; Don't Look Back; Colour Lullabye; Flawless (the muse); We were Indians; Do Lord; My Oh My; Good Rain; The Moon; P.S. I Love You.

Personnel: Solveig Slettahjell: vocals; Sjur Miljeteig: trumpet; Morten Qvenild: piano, keyboards; Mats Eilertsen: bass; Per Oddvar Johansen: drums.

Title: Good Rain | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Curling Legs

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Arven

Curling Legs
2013

buy
Antologie

Antologie

Universal Music Norway
2012

buy
 

Antologie

Curling Legs
2011

buy
Tarpan Seasons

Tarpan Seasons

Universal Music Norway
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Drift CD/LP/Track Review
Drift
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Journey Moments CD/LP/Track Review
Journey Moments
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island CD/LP/Track Review
Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Night Concert CD/LP/Track Review
Night Concert
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Rumah Batu CD/LP/Track Review
Rumah Batu
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 17, 2018
Read The Bat Swings! CD/LP/Track Review
The Bat Swings!
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 17, 2018
Read "Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Grace
by James Nadal
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "Blue Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Dream
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 24, 2018
Read "The Show Before The Show" CD/LP/Track Review The Show Before The Show
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 2, 2018
Read "mono no aware" CD/LP/Track Review mono no aware
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2017
Read "Diamond Cut" CD/LP/Track Review Diamond Cut
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 11, 2018
Read "9" CD/LP/Track Review 9
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 19, 2018