Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

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

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Plays Hendrix" CD/LP/Track Review Plays Hendrix
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 10, 2017
Read "Like, Strange" CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Saluting Sgt. Pepper" CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "OUTgoing" CD/LP/Track Review OUTgoing
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Straight Ahead From Havana" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Ahead From Havana
by James Nadal
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Pole Of Inaccessibility" CD/LP/Track Review Pole Of Inaccessibility
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017

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!