Barb Jungr - Shelter From The Storm - New York Times (Live Review)
16 May 2016New York Times
Barb Jungr's Jazzy Songs for Troubled Times
British singer Barb Jungr was growing up in Manchester, she
recalled on Saturday evening, the images on an album cover of "South Pacific"
gave her the illusion that a tropical island was a safe, paradisiacal refuge.
At Joe's Pub, where she is performing songs from her new album, "Shelter From the Storm:
Songs of Hope for Troubled Times," Ms. Jungr, in a green silk shirt,
shell necklace and black slacks, appeared as Bloody Mary and sang "Bali Hai" with a trio that included the
piano virtuoso Laurence Hobgood, Wilson Torres on percussion and Matt Clohesy
on bass. These brilliant musicians lifted the performance out of the realm of
cabaret and into jazz.
Ms. Jungr is
not afraid to be goofy, and her playfulness during a program whose songs
addressed the generalized anxiety about the future injected a dash of humor
into a troubling question: Where do we go when global catastrophe strikes? Ms.
Jungr countered that sense of dread with an attitude that could only be
described as jolly. She never stopped moving, and wore a beatific smile.
title refers to the Bob Dylan song from
"Blood on the Tracks." Ms. Jungr, a passionate Dylanologist, can squeeze more
juice out of a Dylan song than just about anybody. But her approach is less
archaeological than intuitive. Analyzing the song, she suggested that each
verse is a miniature Shakespearean play, and that's how she performed it.
mambo-driven rendition of "Something's Coming" from "West Side Story"
introduced the show's theme of ominous anticipation, but in a cheerful voice.
Mr. Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" and David Bowie's "Life on Mars" pursued
the possibilities of warning and escape. And Bruce Springsteen's "Long Walk Home" described the desolation of
a small town where the narrator grew up.
sang Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock," the self-adoring proclamation "We are
stardust, we are golden" sounded naïve. The words "bomber jet planes riding
shotgun in the sky" and "caught in the devil's bargain" stood out. Yes,
something momentous is indeed coming.
Related LinksBarb JungrLaurence HobgoodShelter From The StormShelter From The Storm