Ekdahl- Back to Earth
Original Release Date: April
Nordahl/Piano, Patrick Boman/Bass,
1. Now or Never 3:35
2. Nature Boy 4:48
3. Stranger on Earth 3:41
4. Laziest Girl in Town - 6:12
5. It Had to Be You 3:09
6. Down With Love 1:37
7. What Is This Thing Called Love? 5:04
8. Tea for Two 5:29
9. The Lonely One 3:20
10. I Get a Kick Out of You 3:20
11. Just for a Thrill 3:25
12. Night and Day 4:32
13. Plaintive Rumba 6:22
Lisa Ekdahl is one of Sweden's finest vocalist, first
started in pop and later developed a jazz interest. Some critics
compare her with the girlish voices of Bjork's and
Rickie Lee Jones'.
I think that's doubtful. She has her own unique voice, whatever
that is. But it's fresh, soothing, and never too intense.
Her territory is Astrud Gilberto meets Chet Baker.
Backing her is a superb band called Peter Nordahl Trio
featuring Nordahl on piano, featuring drummer Ronnie Gardiner
and bassist Patrick Boman. The sound of the trio is
a a restrained Scandavian one, reminding me of Bill Evans
trio with Scott LaFaro or Gary Peacock.
of this album is the song choices. Carefully picked by Ekdahl
and Nordahl, the delights including a bluesy "Now or
Never," a playful "Laziest Girl in Town," and
a delicate "Tea For Two" with the inclusion of the
beginning verse (which only Ekdhal and Jane Monheit would
put in). The usual suspect ballads including "Night and
Day," "It Had To Be You," "What is This
Thing Called Love," while soothing, do not accurately
demonstrate the extent of Ekdahl's vocal skills. My favotie
song is "Stranger on Earth," echoing the alienesque
album title. The ending song "Plaintive Rumba,"
written by pianist Nordahl himself, demonstrates what the
trio is capable of doing musically and is a stylish finish
to an above par album.
It's often easy
to fall into cliches of jazz vocal album (See Jane
Monheit and Diana Krall for effective cross
references). You need to balancing picking the material, making
the right arrangements, and deomstrate your flair. Though
not entirely perfect, Ekdahl has found the right pitch and
must continue to work on her material, if it is merely a hunch.