Jeanette Kühn and Swedish Radio Choir ‘New eyes on Baroque’ (ACT) 3/5

Jeanette KühnAt various intervals in jazz history, the music of Bach has been reworked by musicians, but in this instance the project is to reinterpret a trio of composers with Handel and Purcell added to the list. Soprano vocalist Jeanette Kühn is accompanied here by a jazz quartet under the helm of Swedish trombonist Nils Landgren as well as the presence of classical singers from the Swedish Radio choir. If a complimentary blending of the two genres is attempted overall, then in practice it tends to veer more towards the classical idiom. A number that really works is ‘Air on a G string’ with wordless vocals, choir and brass all in attendance and the trombone solo makes for an intriguing alternative rendition. There are shades of the Hilliard Ensemble on ‘Jesu bleibet meine freunde’ while Purcell’s ‘Where I am laid’ receives a stark rendition. If you require the attention of soothing music during the busy festive season, then this may just be the ideal remedy. Tim Stenhouse