Nicole Johanntgen: Henry II


The follow-up, companion volume to Johänntgen’s excellent Henry, recorded in 2016 in New Orleans, Henry II was recorded in Zurich but loses not a drop of the N’arlins gumbo juice which powered its potent predecessor. There are reflective moments here, e.g. “Nachtspaziergang” and the outstanding, blues-and-gospel stoked “Sweet and Honest”. Overall, however, the funky, space-shot grooves are deliciously dance-driven and sensuous – sexy as hell, even (check “I’m Feelin’ Dank”).

Apart from Ray Parker’s “Ghostbusters”, on which Thibodeaux stretches out, all the material was written by Johänntgen. Throughout, her stabbing, soaring phrasing carries compulsive melodic and rhythmic conviction, fired by consistently crisp yet bottom-rich (pun intended) work from her spot-on trio.

Fabulous stuff: I may just have to mop my brow.

Johänttgen (as); Jon Ramm (tb); Steven Glenn (sousaphone); Paul Thibodeaux (d). Zurich, 14 June 2017.
Selmabird LC 8374