A vocalist working as a duo with a bassist may not seem like a winning combination, but if that vocalist is Denmark’s Sinne Eeg and the bass is in the hands of Thomas Fonnesbæk, it is a combination that not only works, it manages to create a magic all its own. There are those singers that are fine with the cover of an ensemble; there are those that could use as much fancy production as they can get. Not Eeg. She is vocalist for whom less is more, and from Fonnesbæk she gets just what she needs. There is a purity in their stripped down performance, an infectious emotional honesty. This is a duo that works.
Music pure and simple, that’s what you get from their self-titled album, Eeg – Fonnesbæk. The nine tracks focus on classic material – songs you’ve heard often, but which are definitely worth hearing again.
From the opening track, an intense exploration of “Willow Weep for Me,” Eeg and Fonnesbæk make their aesthetic choices clear, and the result proves them right. They continue with songs like “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” “Summertime,” “Body and Soul,” “Beautiful Love,” and “Come Rain or Shine.” Each is a reimagined gem in its own right.
Of the lesser known material on the album, the Lionel Hampton/Leonard Feather opus “Evil Man Blues” gives Eeg the opportunity to do some strutting and have some fun. “Taking It Slow” is an original piece from Fonnesbæk and Helle Hansen. They conclude with an eerie feel on a really interesting take on a movie theme, “Fellini’s Waltz” by Enrico Pieranunzi and Lorraine Feather.
Sinne Eeg, well known in her native Denmark, has been making a well-deserved name for herself in the rest of Europe and Japan with the release of her earlier albums. Eeg – Fonnesbæk is her first album to be released widely in the United States. It is an introduction long overdue.
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