Sinne Eeg & Thomas Fonnesbaek: Staying In Touch

The string backing might look light but thanks to their ingenuity and musicality the duo produces a very satisfying jazz feast

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Vocalist Sinne Eeg and bassist Thomas Fonnesbaek stay very closely in touch throughout the 48-odd minutes of this programme. The title of the CD is not a song on offer but a title for the contents and it does show how well they fuse together for a programme of standards and three originals.

Three tracks feature a string quartet backing of two violins, viola and cello but the bulk of this set is by the duo of voice and double bass. If you think that means a thin sound, not so: Sinne’s pure, highly flexible voice and the all-embracing melodies and rhythm backing from the bass supply a very full and satisfying musical soundscape.

The singer swings through Too Close For Comfort with ease, closely shadowed by her partner, and breaks into confident scatting; there is still plenty of room for bass rhythmic gymnastics. Take Five is Sinne’s own interpretation and it is personal as well as original. Orphans was written by the bass man and Ms Eeg wrote Streets Of Berlin. The singer treats her own piece as an ultra-slow ballad, demonstrating her voice control neatly. She stays in ballad mode for Lennon and McCartney’s Long And Winding Road, making it a steady jazz version of the song.

Ms Eeg is a jazz singer in the true sense of the word and not just a good popular vocalist who performs with a jazz backing. She puts her own spin on How Deep Is The Ocean, which is sung sweetly as a jazz ballad with a fresh approach, and she swings hard on the ultra-fast tempo employed on Just One Of Those Things, a gem of musical compression at just one minute and 38 seconds.

The record concludes with a line written by the late bass player Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and a Charles Mingus / Joni Mitchell piece, The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines. There are only two musicians on eight of the selections, but they fill the room with jazz between them. Jazz is indeed where you find it and you will find it here on this CD.

Discography
Spring Waltz; Too Close For Comfort; Orphans; Take Five; The Streets Of Berlin; The Long And Winding Road; How Deep Is The Ocean; Just One Of Those Things; Round Midnight; Those Who Were; The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines (47.54)
Eeg (v); Thomas Fonnesbaek (b); string quartet on 3, 5 & 10. Copenhagen, 2020 & 2021.
Stunt Records STUCD 21072