Margret Grarup has a husky voice and is able to make it folksy, intimate and flexible. She teams up with Mads Vinding/b, Carsten Dahl/p, Marilyn Mazur/perc, Poul Halberg/g, Peter Weniger/sax and Rasmus Stenholm/B3 in a mix and match collection of interpretations. Piano and voice both get crystalline on the patient lullaby of “Salme ved Vejs Ende” while with Weniger’s tenor she gets tangential and wistful on “Nature Boy.” She shows her allure to gospel with a strong delivery with Halberg and Vinding’s funky read of “Walk With Me” and strolls easy with piano and guitar on a KC strutting “Everyday I Have The Blues.” Her voice resonates as she goes solo to close the album with”What A Wondeful World.” You can feel her confidence with every breath here.
Signe Juhl has a relaxed low alto tone as she works with Nikolaj Bentzon/p, Reuben Rogers/b and Espen Laub von Lillienskjold/dr on a collection of jazz tunes and originals. Of the former, piano and voice shine like the stars on “I Cover The Waterfront” whereas Juhl glides over the quick pulse of “When You’re Smiling” and saunters with sound and space over a deeply bluesed “It Don’t Mean A Thing.” Juhl’s own Night Piece” is an impressionistic serenade delivered in calm earnestness” and Bentzon’s “You Will Always Hold My Heart” is elegant and luminous. Juhl gets winsome as she skips along on Bentzon’s “Kisses Francaises” while the trio gets pensive and Juhl reflects deeply on “You’ve Changed.” Deep waters and waded into here.
June Garber creates lots of buoyant moods on this release. The core trio of Mark Kieswetter/p, George Koller/b and Ben Wittman/dr are supplemented with guests that bring in guitar, sax, horns, accordion, percussion and vocals, making each song a room with a different view. Some celebratory African voices join in with Aidan Mason’s guitar on “Underneath the Jacarnada Tree” while she gets intimate with Kieswetter on “Malaika.” She l ikes doing some quirky things as well, as some guest vocals by Alison Young bring out the obscure Ellington piece “Hit Me with a Hot Note” and she gets noirish with the piano and Guido Basso’s horn on “It Was A Very Good Year.” Some 70s pop sounds pop up on “Unbroken” and “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and through it all, Garber is clear and joyful.