Sinne Eeg ‘Dreams’ (Stunt) 4/5

Danish vocalist Sinne Eeg may be a little known name to many outside her native land and Scandinavia more generally, but in her country of birth she has enhanced her reputation considerably and is now confident enough to record this album in Brooklyn, New York, with an all-American band bar her fellow Dane, Jacob Christofferson, on piano. Well known accompanist include Joey Baron on drums and Scott Colley on the bass, while Larry Koonse takes care of guitar duties. A new and interesting voice to these ears, Eeg possesses an authentically American jazz vocalist voice with no obvious hint of a Scandinavian accent. An inventive take on the Cole Porter classic, ‘What is this thing called love’, features some delightful scatting from the singer and an extended piano solo from Christofferson. The voice in general is at once flexible and throaty in parts and clear in others. While the great American Songbook comprises part of the repertoire, there are nonetheless five originals which bodes well for the future of her songwriting craft. An intimate reading of the opener, ‘The bitter end’, features both a strong bass and drum beat, while the contemporary themed original, ‘Aleppo’, is notable for some especially Brad Mehldau-esque phrasings from Christofferson, and he well and truly takes off and positively shines here. This writer especially warmed to the intimacy of the guitar driven piece, ‘Head over heels’, and both the bass and drums provide just the right hint of intimacy in the background, before the piano enters sporadically. Some might be surprised to learn that this is in fact the ninth album in total by Eeg, and she certainly seems totally at ease in this setting. Another evergreen piece, the Rodgers and Hart song, ‘Falling in love with love’, creates an intimate setting with bass, guitar and drums working in tandem, and that intimacy is added to and embellished by the exquisite phrasings of the vocalist who, in addition, engages in an extended scatting interlude. There is a depth to the voice that, in parts at least. recalls the great Sarah Vaughan, without ever trying to be a copycat soundalike. Possessing a flexible and throaty voice that has real depth to it, Sinne Eeg seems set to become a significant player on the jazz vocalist circuit and this fine recording will contribute significantly to enhancing her credentials. With liner notes by noted jazz writer Neil Tesser, this is indeed a fine introduction to the singer and one that is sure to bolster her international profile. This is an Artist share funded album and the singer deserves great credit for assembling such a fine cast. Sinne Eeg is both an interesting and appealing voice to these ears.

Tim Stenhouse