Related Reviews
Bebop Spoken Here
'Dylan's songs are vocally invigorated by Jungr's combination of impeccable singing and the range of her emotional delivery...'
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UK Vibe
4 Stars
'Above all else, the singer's love of Dylan's repertoire comes shining through...'
more >>
This Is Cabaret
'Clearly, there is nothing this woman cannot sing. Perfectly'
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The Independent
'Jungr's extraordinary interpretations of songs such as "Every Grain of Sand" and "Sara" have seen her elected to an elite company of memorable cover artists.'
more >>
nuvo.net
Live Review: 'She is simply, yet radiantly, a singer'
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Nightlife Exchange
'There are many highlights and surprises in this profoundly original approach to Dylan.'
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Broadway World
'Jungr doesn't just interpret Dylan songs, she re-imagines them'
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I heart the road
'Her voice is pure and holds that languid quality that have jettisoned stars like Colbie Caillat to Lana Del Rey to the top in recent years.'
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New York Theater Examiner
'The arrangements and interpretations are unique and lovely, heart wrenching, funny and satirical'
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NY Culture
"...the most significant vocal album of the 21st century thus far"
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The Independent
4 Stars
"Except for Dylan himself on a good night, this is the best way to hear his songs."
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Record Collector
'So persuasively did Jungr inhabit the songs that...one entertained the thought that she might have understood them better than their author.'
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The Telegraph
4 Stars
"Communicating real, heart-felt emotion is what this cabaret singer is all about."
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Bebop Spoken Here
...I can only describe the experience as WOW! See her for yourself.
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Newbury Today
...as good a set as we have heard
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Variety
'Wider Stateside recognition is in order.'
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Bath Chronicle
'The 15 songs on Every Grain Of Sand certainly do work, particularly a wonderful interpretation of the Oscar-winning Things Have Changed done a a hybrid Eastern European tango.'
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In Tune International
'The songs when performed by Barb, take on new depth, and I defy anyone not to feel some degree of involvement with their emotional resonance...Barb's talent deserves a wider prominence...'
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Village Voice
'[Barb] gives the Bob Dylan and Jacques Brel canons readings as deep as or deeper than the original manufacturers'.'
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The Telegraph (Live Review)
'The English chanteuse Barb Jungr has created a sanctuary for tender passion, wit and soul-searching reflection. The warm radiance of her voice makes the material softer, stiller...heartfelt tracks [such] as If Not For You (1970) and What Good Am I? (1989) [are] given such heartfelt utterance.'
more >>
The Sunday Times
Records of the Year: #7 'Some Dylan purists had their doubts, but the chansonnier Barb Jungr's bold reworking of his songs makes a fascinating journey. If you always admired Uncle Bob, but chafed at the voice, Jungr supplies the antidote.'
more >>
The Telegraph
Year In Music Roundup: #10 'A jazz recording of Bob Dylan songs; it shouldn't work, but in a strange way, it does.'
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Jazz Review
'She projects the lyric, has great diction and a polished tone.'
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Q Magazine
'Her imperious take on the title track almost eclipses Giant Sand's definitive version.'
more >>
Record Buyer & Music Collector
'"Not Dark Yet" [is] creeping up on me as the most significant track on a collection that, if there's any justice in the world, ought to elevate Barb Jungr beyond mere cult celebrity.'
more >>
HMV Choice
'This recording should both satisfy Jungr fans and surprise Dylan diehards.'
more >>
Mojo
'The kind of voice that many more should get around to hearing.'
more >>
Glasgow Evening Times
'Barb Jungr has an excellent voice, and there's no quibbling with her taste in Dylan.'
more >>
Amazon.co.uk
'An intriguing outing into Dylan territory.'
more >>
Jazz Views website
'Jungr is one of the most talented current British female singers.'
more >>
The Sunday Times
'[A] haunting collection of 15 Dylan numbers.'
more >>
The Times
'Jungr's sensual performance casts the songs in a fresh light.'
more >>
Bristol Evening Post
'Barb unfolds each with devistating technique, while the band creates a chamber jazz sound that is elegant but edgy, passionate and respectful.'
more >>

Barb Jungr – Every Grain of Sand – London Jazz


10 March 2017
London Jazz
Jane Mann

Linn are releasing a 15th Anniversary edition of Barb Jungr's 2002 album Every Grain of Sand: Barb Jungr sings Bob Dylan on 24th March 2017.

Since 2002 most of her albums have featured Bob Dylan songs, alongside works by other significant singer-songwriters, with another totally Dylan album Man In The Long Black Coat in 2011. It is a brave choice to rework such famous songs, etched as they are in the collective memory of my generation in their original versions. Many great jazz works are reinventions of popular songs, often lyrically trite but with great tunes. In Dylan's case the words matter - he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature last year - though you had to pore over the LP covers to work out what he was saying, and even then might be left perplexed. But Barb Jungr is not bewildered by Bob Dylan, she has this to say about the re-release:

"Since recording "Every Grain Of Sand" for Linn in 2002, if anything, my love for the work of Bob Dylan has simply magnified exponentially.....His deeply personal understanding of love and life, of ageing and changing and of politics and humanity - and the lack of it - his deep awareness of our souls is a beacon of light on a bleak headland."

Barb Jungr's singing technique is flawless, and her enunciation perfect with every word audible, she has no need for the surtitles I would have found useful in the seventies. This has the occasional startling effect, when a line thrown away by Dylan in his original recording rings out clearly in Jungr's version, and song becomes chanson.

There are some fine musicians involved in this project: Simon Wallace plays piano on all but three of the tracks when Russell Churney takes over. Julie Walkington is on double bass, Sonya Fairburn violin, Sonia Oakes Stuart cello, Gary Hammond percussion and Kim Burton accordion, in varying combinations. There is particularly pleasing ensemble playing in Tangled Up in Blue, which charges along with the requisite Dylan-like urgency, and the Argentine tango setting of Things Have Changed, with Barb's voice swooping and soaring as she ornaments the melody - these are my highlights. Special mention also for Mark Lockheart's delicate soprano playing on It's All Over Now Baby Blue. Jungr herself plays harmonica, and provides beautiful layered backing vocals on some tracks.

It is interesting to hear Jungr's take on less well-known songs Ring Them Bells and Not Dark Yet. Somehow not knowing every nuance of the original makes it easier to enjoy the songs for themselves, without youthful memories getting in the way. The piano-heavy arrangements are by Simon Wallace and James Tomalin, with two exceptions, a gentle I Want You, reimagined as a waltz and the driven Tangled Up In Blue, which are arranged by Jungr, Churney, Walkington and Oakes Stuart, with Churney on piano.

I am impressed by the quality of the album, Jungr's singing is terrific, the band are great, the production is excellent, but that difference between live and recorded music is often problematic for me when the form is something as emotionally charged as chanson or cabaret. I do have to be there. Fortunately, Jungr, who is a compelling live performer, has just embarked on a European tour, so we do get to hear her very soon.

Barb Jungr and her band are performing at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street on 29th March, and at The Other Palace (the new name for St. James Theatre) on 25th May 2017.


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Every Grain of Sand: Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan (Fifteenth Anniversary Edition)Every Grain of Sand: Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan (Fifteenth Anniversary Edition)
Every Grain of Sand: Fifteenth Anniversary Edition LPEvery Grain of Sand: Fifteenth Anniversary Edition LP