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Barb Jungr - Just Like a Woman (hymn to Nina) - Blues Art Journal


17 March 2008
Blues Art Journal
Norman Darwen

 

Barb Jungr is a UK based singer of Czech and German parentage who is renowned in the UK for her treatment of songs as songs, sometimes with jazz or blues inflections, sometimes not. What more natural then that she should dedicate a set to songs associated with another unclassifiable but highly talented and respected singer, Nina Simone? So, Barb tackles the likes of folk songs, Bob Dylan numbers, the Bee Gees' beautiful To Love Somebody (also recorded by James Carr), Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - known to many from the Yardbirds, I would hazard a guess - and the sublime reworking of  Angel Of The Morning, and she makes each her own whilst maintaining the homage. Backing is courtesy of a stellar group drawn from the UK jazz scene, rounding off what is indeed a very classy package - and by no stretch of the imagination is this a jazz album, or a blues recording come to that. Having written that though, Feeling Good does have all the enthusiasm and excitement of a sixties beat group performance. But try the reggae-inflected rendition of Dylan's Just Like A Woman for something different - or just try any of the eleven tracks.

Too often tributes are over-respectful and over-reverent, but Barb certainly sounds as though she is enjoying herself and I doubt Ms. Simone would have been too impressed with a straight copy of any of her numbers. As a result, Nina's fans will be delighted with this joyous set, as no doubt will be Barb's too.


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