If you compare the pensive portrait cover image of Svensson on this 2021 recording – her latest release – with that which appeared on the previous Places And Dreams it would seem that, since that 2019 recording, life can’t have been all sunshine and roses for this accomplished and engaging Swedish vocalist. It’s an impression confirmed, in part at least, by Svensson’s short sleeve-note.
However: if The Other Way Around deals in substantial measure with the sort of experiences of loss evident in Svensson’s intimate take on Dylan’s It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – experiences reflected upon to especial effect in the spare and haunting threnody that is the stand-out Time To Go Home – it’s also an album marked by a heartening spirit of tempered resilience, optimism and hope.
The bittersweet yet ultimately affirmative whole is realised with a most intelligent and pleasing range of dynamics and rhythm, including old-time swing (Little Friend) lightly funky and Latin accents (Today and The Other Way Around, respectively). At various times, passages of diversely turned and deliciously projected scat underline the positive vibe.
Apart from the Dylan cover, all the material is by Svensson, interpreted with a poetic command, as exquisite as it is flowing, of pitch and intonation, feeling and phrase – and underpinned by the same superb quartet which appeared on Places And Dreams. My JJ review of that release remarked a surpassing play of fluid group interaction and individual melodic grace. Those same qualities distinguish one sparkling contribution after another from all the participants here, captured in a recording of glorious clarity. Bravo!
Today Is Gonna Be A Better Day; Crossroad; It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue; The Other Way Around; The Two Of Us; Time To Go Home; We’ll Get Through; Carry On; Little Friend (41.57)
Svensson (v); Jan Lundgren (p); Ewan Svensson (elg, g); Matz Nilsson (b, elb); Zoltan Csörsz (d). Malmo, December 2021.