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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Olga Konkova & Jens Thoresen: Old Songs

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Olga Konkova and Jens Thoresen seemingly can't sit down for a chat without something beautiful coming out. Each has a mellifluous touch on their instrument, but their eloquent back-and-forth chemistry is the bigger part of what makes their duo recordings special. Following on from the holiday collection December Songs (Losen, 2016), the pair sticks to the same approach of re-shaping their source songs almost beyond recognition, producing another excellent release suitable for late-night quiet moments during any time of year. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Olga Konkova and Jens Thoresen: December Songs

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It's a Christmas album even a Grinch can love. The title December Songs already hints that this affair is themed around the general season and mood rather than one particular holiday. The format (sparse piano/guitar duets) smoothly follows suit. The song selection includes a few of the same carols that always get overplayed at the end of every year, then mixes in some traditional pieces that won't be very familiar to many outside Scandinavia. In the best spirit of exploration, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Olga Konkova & Jens Thoresen: December Songs

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December Songs is a sly title for an album of mostly Christmas music, but it suits the subtle approach taken by the Norwegian duo of pianist Olga Konkova and guitarist Jens Thoresen. The arrangements consistently find fresh approaches to very familiar music, transforming the tunes into something elusive and beautiful. Add in the improvisational element, and the result is an openness rare in holiday music. This is music first: the holiday theme is an organizing principle, not the whole reason ...