Graham Reid | | 1 min read
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.
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?
She 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.
She 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.