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During some downtime from watching American Idol on the eight nights it seems to be on each week, I was able to listen to Make This Moment by vocalist Inger Marie Gundersen. The album is a nice reminder that vocal performances do not always have to be unbridled exhibitions of melismatic acrobatics. Indeed the hallmark of the album is an admirable restraint, and even austerity in the vocals and instrumentation.
Make This Moment features a unique mix of new songs, standards, and classic pop/rock offerings. "Let It Be Me, popularized by the Everly Brothers, doesn't necessarily lend itself to extended improvisation, but it does give Gundersen the chance to caress the lovely melody with her smoky voice. She also offers a tender version of the perennial "Always On My Mind.
Gundersen's band offers sympathetic, yet unobtrusive support. A medley of "Fool on the Hill and "Nature Boy features a sensitive saxophone solo by Øivind G. Stømer, who is the son of Gundersen. However, for the most part, the performances remain lean and free of any showy solos. The focus is on the songs.
Make This Moment is an encouraging debut solo recording by a promising talent. Gundersen and her band treat their material with the utmost respect and delicacy. The album is a refreshingly tasteful affair.
Track Listing: Let It Be Me; Make This Moment; Blame It On My Youth; Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow; But Beautiful; Melancholy Blue; Fool On The Hill/Nature Boy; Song For You Far Away; Always On My Mind; Just A Song Before I Go; Sebastian's Waltz
Personnel: Inger Marie Gundersen-vocals; Oscar Jansen-piano; Ole Kristian Kvamme-bass; Geir Age Johnsen-drums; Kristoffer Hansen-arrangement and piano on track 9; ōivind G. StÝmer-saxophone; Per Sigmond-trumpet
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.