Related Reviews
Jazz Times
'What matters is the exquisite quality of the work – their union of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" with Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" is a particular standout – its immense value heightened by three superb Jungr-Hobgood originals, including an astute nod to Nina Simone.'
more >>
The Huffington Post
'Jungr is so supernal at what she does that she transcends any sort of easy categorizing and rises to a uniquely higher plane. Part of the explanation is her ability to delve into songs and find things in them even their manufacturers hadn't realized were there.'
more >>
New York Times
'Ms. Jungr, a passionate Dylanologist, can squeeze more juice out of a Dylan song than just about anybody.'
more >>
All About Jazz
'The most innovative singer in jazz since Cassandra Wilson...'
more >>
Specs Blog
'thing of wonder'
more >>
Jazz Weekly
'Lots of original ideas here, and [Barb] makes them all seem logical as well as fresh.'
more >>
The Telegraph
4 Stars
'Barb Jungr is the alchemist among jazz singers. She takes dubious songs, and turns them into gold. And she takes songs we already knew were gold, and makes them interestingly different… She is truly a marvel, who should not be missed.'
more >>
Midwest Record
'Another winning set for the cabaret crew on Mars.'
more >>
'Barb has that uncanny ability to burrow to the heart of a song and make it her own.'
more >>
Record Collector
'Barb Jungr explores an eclectic repertoire on the haunting Shelter From The Storm.'
more >>
4 Stars
'Vocalist Barb Jungr pulls off quite a coup on her ninth album for Linn...this fine album possesses a special poignancy.'
more >>
4 Stars
'Superb...she sings with enormous intellectual and emotional clarity on a marvellously eclectic repertoire...'
more >>
Jazz Views
'The overall standard set on this album, is extremely high but as with all Barb Jungr recordings, there is always one track that takes the bar even higher. On this occasion it is the Joni Mitchell classic rock anthem "Woodstock" where the restrained vocal delivery is no less than spine chilling with piano, bass and drums fully catching the mood and reflection of the era.'
more >>
BBC Radio Scotland ‘The Jazz House’
'Barb is unrivalled as a song stylist. She brings great depth and insight to the song.'
more >>
The Sunday Times
'Just about the best Dylan interpreter around, Jungr dissects the title song against a McCoy Tyner-ish backdrop.'
more >>
BBC Radio Merseyside ‘On the Beat’
'You’ll know this song, but never like this before.'
more >>
The Crack
'The pair have crafted three new songs (which are well worth the admission alone)...Wonderful.'
more >>
Boycotting Trends
'Through her passionate, sensitive and intelligent reinterpretations, Jungr continues to ensure that the work of many artists "lives on" in vibrant and re-energised ways.'
more >>
Kind of Jazz
'The Dylan and Cohen covers are, as one has come to expect from Jungr, quite superb.'
more >>

Barb Jungr - Shelter From The Storm - AXS

08 July 2016
Carol Banks Weber

Barb Jungr sings of ‘Hope For Troubled Times' like no other.

Right now, a troubled world needs Barb Jungr to sing it better.

After two police shootings, most recently what appears to be an unjustified killing of a cooperative citizen in Minnesota Philando Castile, Jungr's healing voice on her new album seems both timely and timeless.

Doesn't matter the style of music, her voice rises up from the depths of despair to indeed provide hope for troubled times. Shelter From The Storm: Songs Of Hope For Troubled Times came out just this March, but already it has hit a nerve as racial tensions rise on social media.

Shelter From The Storm is a timely, compassion-filled follow-up to the last, effective album, the March 24, 2014 release of Hard Rain. In Hard Rain, the British vocal bombshell asserts her own inimitable, vulnerable style to some signature anthems of both Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. In lesser hands, these covers could easily have been reduced to amateur hour on another pointless Thursday night jam session.

But Jungr, a critically acclaimed, fearless powerhouse of a vocalist, wears her heart on her sleeve come what may. Her voice follows, perfectly imperfect, somehow holding onto a flurry of impossible notes, far-fetched standards, never cracking with the genuine effort. The three musicians backing and elevating her are also superlative, with pianist/arranger Laurence Hobgood spinning out his own compelling solos. Bassist Michael Olatuja and percussionist Wilson Torres follow suit.

They differentiate themselves ably on another batch of memorable standards, pop covers and classics from the Great American Songbook, and a few odds and ends. From "Bali Hai," "Something's Coming," and "Life On Mars?/Space Oddity," to "Sisters Of Mercy," "Woodstock," and a fantastic Jimi Hendrix/Peter Gabriel mash-up in the "All Along The Watchtower/In Your Eyes" medley, Jungr and her band carve out their own niche, while providing aid and comfort to anyone who listens.

"Venus Rising," an original tune by Jungr and Hobgood, benefits from both their voices. Hobgood's piano solo strains to be heard above the rest, broaching the line of imaginative prototype. It's a highlight of the song, along with vocals that cling to the nostalgia of the past and every beloved passing. Somehow not at all romantic as the title would suggest but encompassing more of a universal kind of love, in the remembrances of kindred souls. When Jungr sings, "The air is humming," so is she, with the cadence and the dynamics to threaten a new standard for everyone's generation.

Another fantastic save on piano arrives in the entirely deconstructed "Woodstock," where Jungr takes the song from another time and delivers it to everyone now. Her version is completely different from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's hit, originally written by Joni Mitchell and found on her 1970 Ladies Of The Canyon album.

"Something's Coming," slowly digesting Latin beats like an awakening giant, is vaguely familiar until Jungr reminds everyone this first came out in the popular Broadway musical-turned-movie spectacular, "West Side Story," the less-popular song out of a hit parade. She repossesses the time- and couple-specific piece for a broader mindset on her vocal showmanship alone.

You can have your Grammy-nominated has-beens and wannabe also-rans trying desperately to stake a claim off the hard rain of other established composers from the Great American Songbook, pop and beyond.

Most discriminating listeners will take Barb Jungr's age of enlightenment any time.

Bookmark and Share

Related Links

Barb JungrBarb Jungr
Laurence HobgoodLaurence Hobgood
Shelter From The StormShelter From The Storm
Shelter From The StormShelter From The Storm