Albums

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Vocal Jazz - Released April 27, 2018 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
After two albums at the head of a rather jazzy quartet, Elina Duni is now releasing a collection of songs under her own name that evoke love as well as loss and departure. Recorded in the studios La Buissonne in the south of France in July 2017 under the artistic direction of Manfred Eicher from ECM, Partir is undeniably her most personal opus. Her most intimate too. In this album entirely written and produced on her own, the singer from Tirana plays on the piano, on the guitar and on percussions in tunes drawing from a multitude of sources, from folk to popular music: traditional songs from Albania, Kosovo, Armenia, Macedonia, Switzerland and Arabic Andalusia, but also Jacques Brel’s Je ne sais pas, Alain Oulman’s Meu Amor, Domenico Modugno’s Amara Terra Mia or even Let Us Dive In by Duni herself. To highlight her voice’s expressiveness, she has logically opted for sleek arrangements. In this context, her singing is beautifully emphasised and becomes the common theme throughout her electric repertoire. An organ that can be poignant at times, particularly when she sings about suffering, in a sort of Balkan fado, like a European blues following in the footsteps of Billie Holiday − the ultimate ambassador of human flaws, whom she admires above everything else! The listener comes out dazed by the captivating beauty of what turns out to be Elina Duni’s most stunning album so far… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released November 4, 2016 | Five Fishes

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Vocal Jazz - Released October 14, 2016 | Jazz Village

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Vocal Jazz - Released June 3, 2016 | Okeh

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Vocal Jazz - Released March 25, 2016 | Sound Surveyor Music

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Vocal Jazz - Released December 11, 2015 | Abalone Productions

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Jazzman - OUI! de Culture Jazz
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 22, 2016 | Mack Avenue

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Vocal Jazz - Released April 13, 2015 | jazz family

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Vocal Jazz - Released September 15, 2014 | naïve Jazz

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Découverte JAZZ NEWS
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Vocal Jazz - Released February 2, 2014 | Jazz Village

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 17, 2014 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Vocal Jazz - Released November 6, 2012 | Jazz Village

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Le top 6 JAZZ NEWS - Hi-Res Audio
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Vocal Jazz - Released September 24, 2010 | ACT Music

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
If one were to listen only to "My Favorite Things," the Richard Rodgers-Oscar Hammerstein Great American Songbook standard that opens Same Girl, one might deduce that Korea's Youn Sun Nah is just another cabaret singer with a pretty voice. The kalimba with which she is accompanying herself as she sings -- the sole instrument heard -- lends a sense of purity to the tune, and although the vocalist avoids the usual routes taken with the song, there's no real reason to get excited. Yet. Then things get interesting, fast. As she works her way through material from sources as diverse as Randy Newman, Sergio Mendes, and Metallica -- yes, Metallica; she does a mean "Enter Sandman" -- in addition to two original compositions and a Korean standard, Nah establishes that, in fact, she is incontestably an original, a jazz singer of great range, complexity, emotion, and ideas. Precision timing and sharp diction mark Nah's approach as she traverses the lyrics, but it's not only her technical prowess that makes Same Girl (her second release as a leader on the ACT label, after having spent a decade with a French band) such a delight. For one thing, she is constantly full of surprises. On the Mendes tune, "Song of No Regrets," Nah could have followed the rule book and sung the number as a samba. Instead, she turns it into a near a cappella minimalist dirge, Lars Danielsson's cello bringing to the rendition an unexpected eeriness and majesty. Terry Cox's "Moondog" is something else altogether, all jutting angles and piercing barbs, Ulf Wakenius' guitar and Xavier Desandre-Navarre's drums seemingly flailing willy-nilly behind Nah's warbles, yet somehow making perfect sense in the context of the arrangement, even when Nah breaks the solemnity with a jarring kazoo solo, of all things. For a real taste of her ability to knock a listener out cold, though, Wakenius' "Breakfast in Baghdad" is the place to go: to call Nah a scat singer is like calling John Coltrane a guy who fooled around a bit with the sax. Nah is a wildwoman let loose, treating each syllable as a new adventure in acrobatics, the musicians flying free and fancifully behind her captivating, seriously stunning ravings. Youn Sun Nah doesn't simply interpret; any good jazz signer can do that. She gets to the root of a melody and a lyric, deconstructs it wholly, and then presents it in a way it's never before been heard. Not many around who can do that anymore. ~ Jeff Tamarkin
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Vocal Jazz - Released April 24, 2009 | ACT Music

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Vocal Jazz in the magazine