|Susanne Abbuehl •• Compass (2006)|
Susanne Abbuehl •• Compass
“A completely original, strangely infatuating music. Abbuehl’s fragile, incredibly supple, warm alto voice: maidenly and mature at once. A soft, most intimate, ethereal music that is influenced by jazz just as by art song and folk, without itself being one or the other.”
Christian Rentsch, Tages-Anzeiger
Born: July 30, 1970 in Bern, canton of Berne, Switzerland
Location: Lucerne, Lausanne, Switzerland
Album release: June 6, 2006
Record Label: ECM Records / 1906
Genre: Jazz / Folk
Styles: Avant-Garde Jazz / Continental Jazz / Folksongs / Vocal Jazz
01. Bathyal 5:46
02. Black is the Color 4:18
03. Where Flamingos Fly 4:53
04. Lo Fiolaire 3:43
05. Sea, sea! 4:17
06. Don't Set Sail 3:58
07. The twilight turns from amethyst 5:25
08. Primrose 5:12
09. Bright cap and streamers 4:37
10. A Call For All Demons 4:44
11. Children's Song No.1 2:58
12. In the dark pine-wood 3:03
••••Susanne Abbuehl•••• voice
••••Wolfert Brederode•••• piano
••••Christof May•••• clarinet, bass clarinet
••••Lucas Niggli•••• drums, percussion
••••Michel Portal•••• clarinet (on two tracks)
Recorded January 2003 and October 2004
ECM 1906 (http://www.ecmrecords.com)
↔ Susanne Abbuehl Composer, Main Personnel, Primary Artist, Vocals
↔ Luciano Berio Arranger
↔ Wolfert Brederode Main Personnel, Piano, Primary Artist
↔ John Benson Brooks Composer, Lyricist
↔ Chick Corea Composer
↔ Harold Courlander Composer, Lyricist
↔ Manfred Eicher Audio Production, Producer
↔ James Joyce Composer, Lyricist, Poetry
↔ Sascha Kleis Design
↔ Jan Erik Kongshaug Audio Engineer, Engineer
↔ Christof May Clarinet, Clarinet (Bass), Main Personnel, Primary Artist
↔ Feng Meng-Lung Lyricist
↔ Gérald Minkoff Cover Photo
↔ Lucas Niggli Drums, Main Personnel, Percussion
↔ Michel Portal Clarinet, Main Personnel
↔ Sun Ra Composer
↔ El Thea Composer, Lyricist
↔ Arthur Waley Lyricist, Translation
↔ William Carlos Williams Lyricist
ω I Am Rose, 1997, with Christof May, Marc van Roon and Wolfert Brederode
ω April, 2000, with Christof May, Wolfert Brederode and Samuel Rohrer
ω Compass, 2006, with Christof May, Michel Portal, Wolfert Brederode and Lucas Niggli
Review by Thom Jurek
↔ Susanne Abbuehl startled listeners in 2001 with her debut release, April, in which she took on the poems of e.e. cummings, and created lyrics for a Carla Bley composition. A studied and original vocalist -- she worked with Jeanne Lee -- she is also a solid composer. Her aesthetic and restrained approach lend themselves easily to Manfred Eicher's production M.O. On Compass, Abbuehl and her band, which features the wonderful clarinetist Christoph May, dig deep into the words of James Joyce, William Carlos Williams, and the music of Sun Ra and Chick Corea. ↔ The project is once more refined and mannered yet utterly ambitious beginning with her original composition "Bathyal." Here May's bass clarinet introduces Wolfert Brederode's piano that is given dimension by drummer Lucas Niggli's brushed cymbal and snare work. Abbuehl's voice enters not as whisper but as soft yet full-throated, "Do not run just yet/Do not hide..." ushering in a call to wait and observe, to look around and be touched by the bloom of flowers, by the environs as a balm for a fallen heart. The rippling piano sends waves just above the lyric, and offers the listener a way in. On "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair," (a daring chance in a jazz setting after Patty Waters '60s recording broke all the rules), is not so much referential as reverential. She bases her read of John Jacob Niles' tune on Luciano Berio's folk song arrangement. It's nearly pastoral, but May's clarinet adds an eerie dimension, making it one of the most beautifully articulated versions on record. (She also translates another of Berio's folk songs gorgeously in the French traditional song "La Foliare.") Abbuehl's musical composition to accompany a section from James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake is a slightly angular, with hand percussion accompanying the piano and bass clarinet. Likewise her composition for William Carlos Williams' poem Primrose is skeletal, slightly quirky and off kilter and fits Williams' taut poem like a leather glove. But it is in her own lyrics set to the music of Ra's "A Call for Demons," that the other side of her particular brilliance shines so brightly: taking Ra's suspended spatial approach, she economically creates a "call" to the forces of light and darkness that is seductive and bluesy, almost like a torch song, a lover's call. As May's clarinet whimsically touches the melody of Corea's "Children's Song No. 1," accompanied by shakers used ever so tautly and sparely, the piano enters and provides a harmonic backdrop for Abbuehl, Her singsong vocal embraces the whimsy but creates a new space for reverie and nostalgia that is not sophomoric but romantic and urban. Compass is a record of dreams and visions, shared sparely yet frankly with images and tensions subtly revealed, opening song into a netherworld that encompasses the balance of all things. It goes further than April, is more confident and assured, and Abbuehl's compositions and lyrics are the place of entrance and quiet revelation. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
* Swiss/Dutch singer and composer Susanne Abbuehl was born in Berne, Switzerland, on July 30, 1970. Drawn to music and language early on, composing songs and writing words in her own language, she started studying the harpsichord at age seven. At age seventeen, she moved to Los Angeles where she started studying voice and where she was a member of a jazz group that toured the U.S. and Canada. Back in Europe, she took up professional education in jazz and classical voice at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where she studied with the late Jeanne Lee. She earned a Masters Degree, graduating cum laude.
Abbuehl also studied North Indian classical vocal music with Dr. Indurama Srivastava in Amsterdam and later became a student of famed master singer Dr. Prabha Atre in Bombay, to whom she regularly returns.
* She studied composition and analysis with Dutch composer Diderik Wagenaar.
* Her international debut „April“ for ECM Records (2001), produced by Manfred Eicher, received wide critical acclaim and won an EDISON Music Award (Dutch Grammy) in 2002.
* Her new recording “Compass” for ECM Records was released in 2006.
* With her own group, in which she maintains longtime musical partnerships, Susanne Abbuehl has toured extensively in many European countries: France, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, England, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, Austria and Poland.
She was invited to perform at major festivals in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa.
* She has performed with the Jeanne Lee Music & Dance Ensemble of the late Jeanne Lee and has worked with musicians from different musical backgrounds.
* As a singer and composer, she was featured in radio productions by Radio Netherlands International, Schweizer Radio DRS, Südwestrundfunk and Deutschlandfunk.
* Her concerts have been recorded and broadcast by Radio France, RAI Italy, NRK Norway, Dutch NPS and Swiss Radio DRS and RSR.
* Susanne Abbuehl has been commissioned to write for various settings, including work for radio, theatre, and sound environments.
* As the only non-American singer, she was chosen by the Downbeat Critics Poll 2002 in the category “Best Female Vocalist/Talent Deserving Wider Recognition”. In the same poll, one year later, she held the 6th position in the category “Rising Star Female Vocalist”, and her album “April” was featured among the best in the category “Beyond Album”.
Abbuehl’s musical setting of the E.E. Cummings poem “yes is a pleasant country:” was featured by the Academy of American Poets.
* Susanne Abbuehl is a faculty member of the music universities in Lucerne
and Lausanne, Switzerland.
* She has also lectured in France, Italy, England and Holland.
* Abbuehl was named Professor in 2005. * October 26, 2010 (20:43) Susanne Abbuehl & Wolfert Brederode •••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••• Michel Portal (Born: Novembre 27, 1935, Bayonne, France; instruments: Clarinette, saxophon, bandonéon) / Picture in: Bruegge, Belgium, Concertgebouw, 2006 / © Photographer: Hans Peter Schaefer, http://www.reserv-art.de
|Susanne Abbuehl •• Compass (2006)|