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Steinar Raknes — Stillhouse (2012)

 Steinar Raknes — Stillhouse (2012)

Steinar Raknes — Stillhouse
Surprising, beautiful and highly rewarding. —  EYAL HAREUVENI*
Steinar Raknes og Stillhouse bød på original tapning av amerikansk musikkbrygg og hjemmelaget vare på Huset. Det reiv og smakte knallbra.
Born: 22 March 1975, Midsund, Møre og Romsdal
Location: Kristiansund ~ Trondheim ~ stensgt 41a, 0451 Oslo, Norway
Notable instruments: Double bass
Album release: May 22, 2012
Record Label: Reckless Records
Duration:     49:12
Tracks:
01.) Killing The Blues     4:25
02.) Corrina, Corrina     2:48
03.) Tear My Stillhouse Down     4:30
04.) Memories Of Her     3:45
05.) Twilight     2:28
06.) Kiss     3:34
07.) I'm On Fire     2:39
08.) Sitting On Top Of The World      4:14
09.) Time To Go      4:02
10.) Woodstock       3:20
11.) Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness       3:06
12.) Morning Song For Sally       3:55
13.) Down The Drain       2:19
14.) Walkin       4:07
Personnel:
•  Steinar Raknes: double bass, vocals
•  Mickey Raphael: harmonica (1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13)
•  Solveig Slettahjell: vocals (1)
•  Unni Wilhelmsen: vocals (5)
•  Kaja Bremnes: vocals (12)
•  Paolo Vinaccia: snare drum (8)
•  Andrew Utnem: harmonium (9, 14)
Website: http://www.steinarraknes.com/
MySpace: https://myspace.com/steinarraknes
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Steinar-Raknes-Official/194574050664884
Telefon: +47 976 90 447
E-mail: s@steinarraknes.com
REVIEW
By Liam Wilkinson — Posted on 03 November 2012
•  Under the capable fingers of such luminaries as Charles Mingus, Danny Thompson and Esperanza Spalding, the double bass has become much more than a part of the rhythm section. On AH-UM, Mingus dragged the double bass to the forefront of thoughtful, spellbinding jazz. With Pentangle, Danny Thompson administered the injection that catapulted traditional English folk music into a new age of experimentation and musical fusion. Esperanza Spalding has recently been redefining the vocal jazz genre with her own bass-driven sounds.
•  Over in Norway, Urban Connection bassist, composer and songwriter Steinar Raknes has been lugging his double bass around the concert halls, promoting his unique, meditative, blues-infused bass/vocal style. Imagine, if you will, the love child of Danny Thompson and John Martyn - an inventive double bassist and husky-voiced folk singer whose style, coupled with a carefully-chosen repertoire, would sit comfortably in the jazz, blues, country and folk sections of your local record store, respectively.
•  STILLHOUSE — Raknes's latest outing — is, at once, a showcase of this unique artist's captivating, stripped-down style and a satisfying jaunt through Steinar's album collection. The majority of this atmospheric record presents a considered attempt to re-work some of the most sublime songs ever written, using Steinar's inventive bass/vocal style; attempts that have a favourable pay off every time. Take, for instance, the opening track, Rowland Salley's Killing the Blues, which, with the untreated sound of strings on wood, has never sounded as good. Joni Mitchell's Woodstock, John Prine's Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness, Gillian Welch's Tear The Stillhouse Down and Bruce Springsteen's I'm On Fire receive the same treatment, resulting in new definitions for each of these well-known, well-loved songs. There's also a stunning, foot-tapping version of the traditional blues song Corina Corina which hasn't sounded this fresh and beguiling since Bo Carter first recorded it in 1928.
•  Whilst the album clearly benefits from these fine re-imaginings, the highest peaks are reached during the handful of bluesy Raknes originals such as Down The Drain and Walkin — the first helped along by Mickey Raphael's harmonica and the latter by Andrew Utnem's harmonium.
•  With the added, though usually delightfully subtle support of vocalists Solveig Slettahjell, Kaia and Unni Wilhelmsen, as well as Paolo Vinaccia's percussion, STILLHOUSE is an album with a a soul as thick as its dusty, rustic atmosphere.
Liam Wilkinson; Northern Sky; (http://www.allanwilkinson.co.uk/node/2547)
In french:
•  Steinar Raknes est un contrebassiste de jazz Norvégien au goût très éclectique. Il propose ici une relecture personnelle très attachante de titres variés de musiques américaines (blues, country, folk, rock) très connus. Il est accompagné sur quelques titres par un harmoniciste ou une seconde voix. Les 2 derniers titres sont de sa propre composition. Recommandé.
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Bio
Steinar Raknes
•  .. is one of Norway’s foremost jazz bassists and songwriters. With his fearless and explosive playing style, he is often compared with the legendary bassist and songwriter Charles Mingus. Raknes is rcognized through his work as composer and musician in the award-winning jazz trio Urban Connection, and for collaborations with artists such as  Chick Corea, Michael Brecker, Bobby McFerrin and Per Texas Johansson. After completing a Master of Arts (music) degree of jazz at NTNU in2001, he has collaborated in a large number of ensembles, including The Core, Ola Kvernberg Trio, SKAIDI,  Kirsti Huke Quartet and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. He is the leader of his own jazz group, the  Steinar Raknes Quartet, "Tangos, ballads & more" and his own group STILLHOUSE where he sings and plays the double bass.
•  Raknes has created a unique way of playing the double bass while singing, insipred by various pop/rock/blues/folk/country  In his project STILLHOUSE he sings and plays together with the American harp player Mickey Raphael (from the Willie Nelson band) and the Norwegian vocalists Solveig Slettahjell and Unni Wilhelsen.
Contact:
Steinar Raknes
Stensgata 41a
0451 Oslo
ph: +47 97690447
e-mail:
s@steinarraknes.com
Rolf Bugge
Next Step Music & Art Production Ltd
P.O.Box 312
N-6401 Molde
NORWAY
giant@online.no
Tel:  +47 71 25 52 67
Cell: +47 908 27 762
Fax: +47 71 25 66 65
Organization No.: 981.990.196
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REVIEW
By EYAL HAREUVENI, Published: October 13, 2012
•  Steinar Raknes is a man of many tastes. A founding member of the fiery modern jazz quartet The Core, a collaborator with lyrical jazz violinist Ola Kvernberg, co-leader of the Vaggelis Paraskevaidis duo with yoik vocalist Inga Juuso, and leader of his own quartet that covers tango and bossa-nova classics, on Stillhouse, this Norwegian double bassist features his abilities as a vocalist and interpreter of eclectic, iconic American songs from the past few decades, as well as a few originals.
•  Raknes' acoustic arrangements are straightforward. His vocals are warm but his delivery direct and reserved, largely reciting the lyrics as matter-of-fact reporting, and never attempting to compete with memorable, existing vocal versions. His confident and powerful finger-picked playing strips the melodic content of these songs to their basic skeletal lines, his humble and intimate attitude stressing their emotional impact.
•  Raknes hosts Nashville harmonicist Mickey Raphael and several Norwegian vocalists on a few songs. Solveig Slettahjell brilliantly adds her warm voice to Raknes' on "Killing the Blues." Raphael is a perfect partner on the arresting, melancholic cover of Gillian Welch's "Tear My Stillhouse Down." Gently, with vocalist Unni Wilhelmsen, Raknes adds touching emotional insight to The Band's "Twilight."
•  Raknes couples Prince's "Kiss" with Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire," transforming the originals' explicit, seductive and reckless desire with the experience of mature and patient passion. This kind of peace-making with his own past serves Raknes beautifully on his original, "Time to Go" while a cover of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" adds a distant and skeptical view of the historic event.
•  Raknes' best cover is John Prine's classic "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness," where his modest and sober approach fits perfectly with the words. He concludes this set with two originals, the bluesy "Down the Drain" and optimistic farewell "Walkin.'"
•  Surprising, beautiful and highly rewarding.
•  ( EYAL HAREUVENI is an Israeli journalist who lives in Jerusalem.)
Fortaken: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/
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Solveig Slettahjell (born 2 April 1971 in Bærum, Norway) is a Norwegian Jazz singer, known for her soulful, seductive voice.
•  Slettahjell had her record debut with the album Slow Motion Orchestra (2003), contains jazz standards like "All the Way" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy". It was released after festival appearance at Nattjazz 2002. For her second album, Silver (2004), her band took the name "Slow Motion Quintet". In 2005, they released Pixiedust.
•  After working with a commission for Vossajazz Festiva (2009), she released the music on the acclaimed album Tarpan Seasons (2010). In 2012 she acclaimed performance at "Oslo Jazz Festival" 2012 with Gregory Porter.
Michael Siegfried "Mickey" Raphael (born 1951; origin: Dallas, TX, USA) is a professional harmonica player, best known for his work with Willie Nelson. He has recorded with Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Elton John, Mötley Crüe, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Chesney, U2 and Neil Young.
•  Raphael's style is mostly second position, concentrating mostly on draw notes. He is a master of smooth note transitions and melodic riffs.
•  Raphael also appeared in the movies Songwriter and Honeysuckle Rose.
Website: http://www.mickeyraphael.com/
Unni Elisabeth Wilhelmsen (born 12 July 1971 in Oslo, Norway) is a Norwegian singer, songwriter and musician. Her musical influences are pop music and the American tradition of the singer/songwriter, in which the lyrics play an important role as well as the music. She lives in Oslo, but has throughout her career had the whole of Norway as a venue. When she made her breakthrough in 1996 with her debut album To Whom It May Concern (Polygram), she also became an important mediator of the singer/songwriter genre, a genre that now has a broad audience in Norwegian popular music.
Honors:
•  Spellemannprisen 1996: female artist of the year; album of the year for To Whom It May Concern.
Website: http://www.unniwilhelmsen.com/
Paolo Vinaccia (born 27 March 1954 in Italy) is an Italian composer, jazz drummer and percussionist. He has lived in Norway since 1979.
•  He has worked with Terje Rypdal, Bendik Hofseth, Jan Eggum, Knut Reiersrud (in Four Roosters) and Jonas Fjeld to mention a few. He has also toured and recorded with Palle Mikkelborg, Mike Mainieri, Jon Christensen and David Darling, as well as Arild Andersen. With the latter he performed at the London Jazz Festival 2008, wit a stellar international trio featuring the Scot Tommy Smith
•  Vinaccia has contributed on more than 100 albums.
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REVIEW
Jørn Haakenstad
•  Publisert 22.10.2012 kl 03:00 Oppdatert 22.10.2012 kl 13:51
•  Steinar Raknes hadde sparket jazzen inn i skapet og tatt på seg americana/country/rock- og pophatten. Fritt for hakegnuende jazz serverte Stillhouse sine originale vrier på låter i et vidt tidsspenn og stilarter, samt originallåter fra Steinar Raknes og medvokalist Unni Wilhelmsen.
•  «Stillhouse» er et hjemmebrenneri og bandnavnet er inspirert av Gillian Welch låt «Tear my stillhouse down» fra debutalbumet «Revival». Nakent som Welch-originalen spilte bandet noe av det minst oppløftende tekstmessig sett for aftenen.
•  Raknes spiller kontrabass fra 1780 med strenger av grisetarmer. Litt yngre er låta «Hard times» av Steven Foster, før tempoet økte og «Corrine, Corrina» fikk fart på rytmeføttene til et eksemplarisk stillesittende jazzpublikum. Som ikke fikk høre jazz. Bo Carters låt ble første gang spilt inn i 1928, mens Stillhouse versjon lå mellom Joni Mitchell og Willie Nelsons versjoner.
The blues
•  En av kveldens mange høydepunkt var «Killing the blues», skrevet av Rowland Salley, bassist med Chris Isaak. Da blir det blått og inn til beinet nakent. Robert Plant og Alison Kraus har covret låta, det har også John Prine. Nettopp Prines originallåter «Angel from Montgomery» og «Speed of the sound of loneliness» ble flott framført av Steinar Raknes og Unni Wilhelmsens stemmer, kontrabass, Andreas Utnem på pumpeorgel og Paolo Vinaccia på alt som kan slås, vispes og daskes på av perkusjonsinstrumenter. Utnems orgel fra 30-tallet ga assosiasjoner til blant annet Tom Waits bruk av instrumentet på flere plater, et melankolsk og nakent innslag, der prærie og hillbillytrakter er bakteppe for stort sett triste saker.
•  Men Raknes, som har vært i Brandbu med Urban Connection tidligere, dro også med seg gjengen i mer urbane retninger. Kveldens mest herlig rufsete innslag var en kanonversjon av «Personal Jesus», som hadde fått Depeche Mode til å juble.
Sprang
•  I de roligere hjørner, ofte av mørkere karakter, befant «Twilight» (The Band har spilt den inn), «Anything about June» av Unni Wilhelmsen og «Memories of her» seg. Raknes sang den siste til sin avdøde mor. «Sitting on top of the world», innspilt av Mississippi Sheiks første gang i 1930 og «Walkin`» av Steinar Raknes lå i mer uptempoland.
•  Små detaljer ble lokket fram av musikerne, Raknes med mørkere stemme som en ung Waits i kontrast til Wilhelmsens klokkeklare stemme ga gåsehud på framføringer som «Speed of...» og «Tear my stillhouse down». Etter velfortjent trampeklapp grep en svett Steinar Raknes kontrabassen og klinket til med sin verson av Prince og «Kiss». Et lekent, men musikalsk stilsikkert band, hadde også flere verbale krumspring på scenen og god kontakt med publikum. Tilslutt sendte de folk hjem i oktoberregnet på en alle tiders torsdag med «Ol`55» av Tom Waits. En av årets desidert beste konserter på Hadeland.
Fortaken: http://www.hadeland.net/
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Photo 1: BAS SOG VOKAL: Steinar Raknes fronter Stillhouse, med kontrabass fra 1780 og kledelig, smårusten stemme.
Photo 2: STILLHOUSE: Fra hjerteskjærende tekster og prærieblek americana slo Stillhouse også over i verbale og musikalske ablegøyer. Paolo Vinaccia, Andreas Utnem, Unni Wilhelmsen og Steinar Raknes imponerte på Huset.
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Steinar Raknes — Stillhouse (2012)

 

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