Friday, February 24, 2012

Emilia Martensson and Barry Green

  And So It Goes…    
                                                                         20/2/ 2012

By John Fordham
The Guardian 23rd February 2012

UK-resident Swedish singer Emilia Martensson made an impact in 2010 on Kairos 4Tet's popular debut Kairos Moment, but although her duo with pianist Barry Green is comparatively new, this set (covering Jacques Brel, Egberto Gismonti, James Taylor, Schumann and more) makes them sound like old hands embraced. Martensson invests every sound with a skimming, rapturous lightness and clarity, and Green demonstrates a cool individuality within familiar Bill Evans-to-Jarrett territory. Schumann's Ich Grolle Nichte is recast as I Won't Regret (the original lyric is "I do not chide you, though my heart breaks"), with Green dabbing shy chords under Martensson's weaving line. Taylor's Something in the Way She Moves glimmers with his typical soft sheen; Peter Gabriel's gospelly Washing of the Water is a haunting duet with Ben Davis's cello; and the dark presence of Julian Siegel's bass clarinet on Gismonti's Palhaco is a shrewd tonal contrast. It's often eclectically folksy, but Martensson can also be a graceful, Stacey Kent-like performer, as she shows on Esbjörn Svensson's Waltz for the Lonely Ones and the swinger The Best Man.

By Dave Kelly
The Observer 19th February 2012
Her voice may be soft and light, but there is nothing limp or vague about Emilia Martensson's singing. In her gentle way, she is among the most incisive of today's crop of impressive young vocalists. She also has a dauntingly wide and adventurous repertoire, taking in Jacques Brel, Nat King Cole and folk songs from her native Sweden – and that's where Barry Green comes in. A pianist of immense delicacy, he also swings with real style. This could grow into a classic partnership. Listen out, too, for some terrific bass clarinet from guest soloist Julian Siegel.

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