Author: Young, Herb
Date published: December 1, 2011
Journal code: IAJR
Laila Dalseth - Listen Here!
Gemini Records GMCD 100
Laila Dalseth (vcls) Totti Bergh (ts) Jon Gordon (as) Dave Frishberg (pno) Jay Leonhart (bs) Dennis Mackrel (dms) Recorded NYC, August 18 & 19, 1999
Born To Be Blue / Black Butterfly / While We're Young / Easy To Love / 'Tis Autumn / A Song For You / The Underdog / Listen Here / Time After Time / My Love / I Didn't Know About you / Isn't It A Pity TT: 57:14
Laila Dalseth has been reviewed favorably in these pages several times. This review is no exception but it is a bit different in that it was recorded in New York City with the majority of the musicians being Americans. In fact Laila and her husband, Totti, are the only Norwegians.
All the musicians are well established jazz performers who should need no introductions so there will be none in this review. You would expect to find competent and sympathetic comping and solo work and again that is what you get.
I have been privileged to listen to many of her recordings and have yet to find fault with her singing. She is truly a jazz singer and it doesn't make any difference if it is an up tune or a ballad. She just displays such good taste. Nearly all her vocals are in English and her diction is great. It is quite evident that on any of her recording sessions (and probably on personal appearances) she is in control and leads the processions. Yet, I could not imagine her being a diva.
I find her selection of tunes to be interesting. No overdone tunes here. Duke Ellington is responsible for three yet two are seldom heard, "My Love" and "Black Butterfly". Al Cohn and Dave Frishberg's collaboration on "The Underdorg" is yet another example of her picking out the unusual. Even George and Ira Gershwin's "Isn't It A Pity" is not all that often performed. All these and for that matter all twelve tunes are gems. I would not want to be without any.
So this is a well recommended CD. If you have several of her others you will want to add this one. If you are not familiar with her work, this is an excellent place to start. The usual high quality of sound and well written notes, again by Alun Morgan, are here also. One more thing, some fine pictures are here, several taken by the owner of Gemini Records, Bjorn Petersen.