Scandinavia is home to one of the most inventive and forward-thinking jazz scenes. Performers such as Ida Rønshaugen certainly stay true to the reputation of the Nordic countries with a modern and insightful approach to jazz.
A veteran of the Norwegian jazz scene, Rønshaugen has roots in the Big Band Fossajazz, where she was the lead saxophonist at the age of 14. Her debut album, The Blue and Wise Cats, was released to critical praise in 2013. Her growth as an artist continues to inspire awe. On her recent release, Storm, Rønshaugen is particularly fond of layering unique sounds together. Her dazzling saxophone lines aren't only about melodic phrasings, but also about textures and atmospherics. Rønshaugen blends in the freedom of jazz with the blanket of drones that are often associated with loop-based music.
Rønshaugen uses her voice and her saxophone in order to build stunning cascades of melodies and sustained notes that harmonize beautifully. She then performs stunning and inspired solo improvisation on the sax, utilizing her gorgeously orchestrated background layers as a backing track for her soloist work.
This is invigorating, cutting-edge jazz. Don't be surprised if Rønshaugen creates a Storm with her fiery artistry.
Track Listing: A Dream of Spring; Morning Rise; Old Pine; Storm; The Sick Son´s Mother; Cathedral; Finding Maps; Vence, Oh Vence!
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.