Album Review

Krog, Karin – “Don’t Just Sing : an Anthology 1963-1999” – [Light in the Attic]

Thurston Hunger   8/23/2015   12-inch, Jazz

Norweigian vocallete chameleon, filing this under jazz in part
because of the company she keeps, not just her husband John
Surman and Dexter Gordon (both showcased on tracks here)
but KFJC to date has Karin only on a couple comps, including
a duet with the amazing Archie Shepp. She closes this gorgeous
gatefold with a take on John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”
vocals way out front, pleading spiritually and a lurking
liturgical keyboard beneath it. Her voice on that both
strong and searching, almost an Abbey Lincoln delivery.
Contrast that with her Karin Carpenter-esque pleasance on
“Break of Day in Molde” or the experimental chop and drop
lead-off “As a Wife Has a Cow” (tying her roots to Arne
Nordheim.) In a way this album reminds me a little of
Susanna Wallumrod and her confusing (to me at least)
Rune Grammofon albums. When I think I know where the album
is going it usually tricks me, so even when I don’t connect
with a choice, I respect it. It is a very pristinely recorded
album, although not without its weird ways. The aforementioned
“Wife/Cow” (a Getrude Stein poem Karin wanted to tackle and
spackle with samples) also two with Surnam “Images in Glass”
and “Cloud Line Blue” (where at the end his soprano sax
solo spirals off at the end when it had been flying between
Karin’s slow softly song notes and a kind of parade of
Terry Riley keyboard ripples). Her taste in covers is
pretty righteous the Coltrane, Carla Bley, Herbie Hancock,
a pretty straight take on “Ode to Billie Joe” and a very
re-phrased Joni Mitchell’s “All I Want.” An interesting
blend of ECM meets Impulse with a hint of Actuel-ization!
-Thurston Hunger

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