Youn Sun Nah: Same Girl (ACT/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Youn Sun Nah: My Name is Carnival
Youn Sun Nah: Same Girl (ACT/Southbound)

This sophisticated Korea-born singer who has long been based in Europe -- this is her seventh album, but only the second for Germany's ACT Music -- grew up with parents who were classical musicians, and that might explain some of the assured poise she brings to her delivery of ballads.

But before she arrived in Paris in the mid Nineties (drawn by chanson apparently) she hardly knew a thing about jazz, the music which has secured her reputation.

It's been quite some learning arc in that case, because here she races through a thriling scat'n'soar on the exotic and exciting Breakfast in Baghdad with label-mate Ulf Wakenius (guitar) . . . but opens with an attention-getting, almost skeletal but deeply emotional reading of My Favourite Things with only kalimba (thumb piano) and, against the odds, makes it interesting all over again.

She's not one to easily pigeon-hole as she also offers a delightful, multi-tracked, traditional Korean song; an increasingly dramatic if somewhat unsuccessful version of Metallica's Enter Sandman; and Randy Newman's Same Girl (again spare, with just kalimba) alongside some originals (her Uncertain Weather is achingly romantic).

And she's also out to enjoy herself: her own Pancake is a list of fast foods which she loves over bouncy bass from Lars Danielsson and Wakenius' guitar revving; and she hauls out kazoo for Terry Cox's Moondog.

Slightly patchy but when the cards fall -- and My Name is Carnival is gripping -- she is damn close to a full house here.

Impressive. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

McCoy Tyner: Guitars (Half Note)

McCoy Tyner: Guitars (Half Note)

This jazz giant will be 70 in December 2008 and can reflect on playing piano with the likes of John Coltrane in the 60s then a multi-faceted career as a leader, assimilator of world music... > Read more

JOEY DeFRANCESCO INTERVIEWED (2013): Always going to be this way

JOEY DeFRANCESCO INTERVIEWED (2013): Always going to be this way

At his home in Phoenix, you might guess Joey DeFrancesco has a very large and crowded trophy room. For six years from 2003 – when he was just 32 – he topped the Downbeat poll as the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Vorn Colgan of Vorn

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Vorn Colgan of Vorn

In a country where pop music is often slightly bent and off on a tangent, and "alternative" act are frequently in the mainstream of public attention, New Zealand's Vorn still manages to... > Read more

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis: The Road (Mute)

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis: The Road (Mute)

The most difficult test for any film score is if it works in the absence of images, and even more so if it does when the listener hasn't seen the movie. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have had a... > Read more