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She is not just another singer in the contemporary jazz scene. Rebekka Bakken, a 49-year-old Norwegian, is rivalling successful high-sellers such as Norah Jones and Diana Krall. And she is doing so with projects as interesting as her last album, “Things you Leave Behind”, whose track list, with the exception of Cindy Lauper’s moving “Time after Time”, is full of her own compositions. A raging hurricane of passions builds up in each of these songs which, stylistically speaking, are dominated by a ballad format in which the freedom of jazz is not just an episodic note.
Rebekka Bakken sometimes reminds us of Joni Mitchell. And, also, Rickie Lee Jones. However, the singer, who had already announced her talent in her 2003 album, “Scattering Poems”, recorded with the trio of German pianist Julia Hülsmann, and based on the texts of poet E.E. Cummings, frequents a very personal musical space with which she rips shreds off emotions unmatched by her peers. Detailed arrangements, carefully written texts and a beautiful voice are aspects that synthetize her style, always backed by the instrumental prowess of very solid and autonomous musicians.
Rebekka Bakken: voice Kjetil Bjerkestrand: orgel/piano Johan Lindstroem: guitar Tor Egil Kreken: bass Pål Hausken: drums Rune Arnesen drums