THE LAUFEY PERPLEX (2023): To jazz or not to jazz

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THE LAUFEY PERPLEX (2023): To jazz or not to jazz

Okay pub quiz time, but be warned this could be a track question: Who was last year's most streamed jazz artist on Spotify?
Now you might reasonably go for the ever-popular Miles Davis or even the great Pharoah Sanders who underwent a rediscovery with that 2021 album Promises with Floating Points and the LSO.

But actually the most streamed jazz artist on Spotify – with 425 million plays apparently – was Laufey.

Who?
Well here's the trick in the question, many wouldn't consider her jazz, perhaps jazz-lite or jazz-like. But we would place her new Bewitched album under our Music pages and not Jazz.

So who is she?

artists_laufey_06052022154306She is the photogenic come-hither Icelandic-Chinese singer Laufey Lin Jónsdóttir's whose previous album was with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

This new one marries her Ella Fitzgerald-influenced, smoothly delivered jazz originals and standards (Misty) with a touch of the singer-songwriter (the reassuring Letter To My 13-Year Old Self ).

There's also the impish bossa nova of From the Start and some multi-tracked vocals for the 1950s jazz-pop of Dreamer.

Lovesick is a pop banger for adults who don't dance anymore. 

laufey_coverShe was educated at the prestigious Berklee College of Music and is a cellist, and Laufey – pronounced lāy-vāy -- writes intimate, sophisticated originals in the tradition of jazz standards which come with classy arrangements.

She's no Ella, Barbra or Janis Ian, but a soft-focus balm and calm.

Okay next pub quiz question with a twist of trickery too: Which four-piece Sixties group quickly became adept at writing their own material, built a local following, eventually appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, hung out with the Byrds in Hollywood, listened to Indian music . . . and played their final concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on August 29, 1966 before a crowd of 55,000?

Well it could be them, but it could also be

.

You can hear this album on Spotify here


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