The Danish singer and songwriter Mette Juul is releasing an evocative jazz CD with the rhythm master
The album’s twelve tracks steam with dark jazz bars and late night drinks in big cities like New York and London. Six of the tracks are jazz standards taken from the repertoire of jazz singers such as Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, and Dinah Washington. A single Italian bossa nova track has also found its way onto the album, and in addition there are five tracks where Mette Juul shows herself as a songwriter and composer. She is strongly influenced by the singer-songwriter tradition of such singers as Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones, and Tracy Chapman, and with the guitar in her hand Mette Juul performs simple pop jazz melodies with eminent lyrics that are both accessible and deserving of attention.
Over the years, Mette Juul has sung many critically acclaimed concerts in Copenhagen jazz clubs. Moreover she has performed at the famous Sunside Jazz Club in Paris with the New York trumpet player Ted Curson, and in jazz clubs in New York with, among others, Nikolaj Hess and the American bass player Harvey S (former bass player for Sheila Jordan), and in the Nardis Jazz Club in Istanbul.
With a 1st prize at the International Jazz Artists Competition 2007 in Tallinn and invitations to a number of jazz festivals around the world together with, among others, Alex Riel, Heine Hansen, and Thomas Vang, Mette Juul is a well-known face on the international music scene.
The CD she is now releasing – from the Danish saxophone player Benjamin Koppel’s label, Cowbell Music – contains jazz standards from her touring activities. She goes back to the more popular part of jazz and adds to it her own singer-songwriter poetry and simplicity. Here, Poul Halberg on guitar is the perfect choice; his playing, deriving from the world of pop and rock, adds a bluesy sound to the jazz music, a sound which matches the singer-songwriter tradition very well. This can be heard on the duet “I Wish You Love” with Poul Halberg and Mette Juul.
The title track of the album, ‘Coming in from the Dark’, is written by Mette Juul specifically for Palle Mikkelborg’s big, open trumpet sound. At the same time, the arrangement offers the other seasoned musicians a chance to improvise, where particularly Alex Riel’s magical way of handling a pair of whiskers brushes closely against Mette Juul’s voice.
From the rest of Mette Juul’s own compositions on ‘Coming in from the Dark’, it is worth mentioning ‘Valsen er min’ (‘The Waltz Is Mine’), written by Mette Juul and inspired by Nordic jazz tradition comprising such names as Monika Zetterlund and Bill Evans Trio. And ‘The Way You Close the Door’, freely inspired by the bossa nova genre but in a pop/jazz interpretation.
- Alex Riel on drums,
- Heine Hansen on piano, and Jesper Lundgaard on bass, backed up by guest soloists
- Palle Mikkelborg on trumpet and Poul Halberg on guitar.
- Mette Juul – Vocal & Guitar
- Alex Riel – Drums
- Heine Hansen – Piano
- Jesper Lundgaard – bass
- Palle Mikkelborg – Trumpet
- Poul Halberg – Guitar
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