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ALBUM REVIEWS

Sunna Gunnlaugs: Distilled

Read "Distilled" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

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. ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Sunna Gunnlaugs: Keys For Traveling

Read "Sunna Gunnlaugs: Keys For Traveling" reviewed by Dave Sumner

Pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs is back in the USA for a visit. Following on the heels of the critical success of 2011 release Long Pair Bond (Sunny Sky), Gunnlaugs will be touring from coast to coast beginning in Berkeley, California and hitting several cities along the way to a three-day grand finale in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She'll have the Long Pair Bond trio in tow, with Scott McLemore on drums and Þorgrimur Jonsson on bass.Originally from Iceland, Gunnlaugs attended ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sunna Gunnlaugs: Long Pair Bond

Read "Long Pair Bond" reviewed by William Carey

Several songs on Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs' Long Pair Bond, including the ballad “Elsabella," are lilting and beautiful enough to have an almost hypnotic effect. The interplay between Gunnlaugs and bassist Þorgrímur Jónsson is clearly borne out of a great deal of time spent working together. Along with drummer Scott McLemore, who contributed three compositions to this session, the group plays with an empathy for which jazz ensembles strive, especially important in trios such as this.Gunnlaugs has a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sunna Gunnlaugs: Long Pair Bond

Read "Long Pair Bond" reviewed by John Kelman

With Long Pair Bond, Sunna Gunnlaugs returns to the piano trio format last heard on Far Far Away. Since that 1997 self-titled debut--the only album to use her tongue-twisting full name, Gunnlaugsdóttir--the Icelandic pianist has, in addition to contracting her name to the eminently more memorable Gunnlaugs, recorded almost exclusively with quartets, largely populated with American (or, at least, American-resident) musicians met after moving to the United States in 1993 to study at William Paterson College. Long Pair Bond's return ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Sunna Gunnlaugs

Read "Take Five With Sunna Gunnlaugs" reviewed by Sunna Gunnlaugs

Meet Sunna Gunnlaugs: Ex-Brooklyn patriot, born in Iceland, jazz pianist and composer Sunna Gunnlaugs has released five CDs and performed in Europe, Japan, Canada and the US, combining the elegance of the European approach with a New York attitude.Instrument(s): PianoTeachers and/or influences? When I lived in New York I was very influenced by all the music around me and especially the fact that everyone was writing their own. I think ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Sunna Gunnlaugs

Read "Take Five With Sunna Gunnlaugs" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Sunna Gunnlaugs:Ex-Brooklyn patriot, born in Iceland, jazz pianist and composer Sunna Gunnlaugs has released five CDs and performed in Europe, Japan, Canada and the US, combining the elegance of the European approach with a fiery New York attitude.Instrument(s):Piano.When were you happiest?I remember feeling really happy for quite some time after my first daughter was born in 2005.What is your greatest fear?The idea of losing my ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sunna Gunnlaugs Quartet: Live in Europe

Read "Live in Europe" reviewed by John Kelman

Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko explained, in a recent interview, how the term melancholy does not always have to mean sad; there can be an inherent optimism as well. Pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs, an ex-pat from Iceland who now makes her home in New York City, understands that all too well. She writes music that is tender and romantic, sometimes joyful, but often with just the slightest melancholic edge. That doesn't make her music oppressive or dark, however; amidst the conflicting emotions ...


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