Related Reviews
The Telegraph
4 Stars
"Communicating real, heart-felt emotion is what this cabaret singer is all about."
more >>
Bebop Spoken Here
...I can only describe the experience as WOW! See her for yourself.
more >>
Three Weeks
5 Stars
Barb Jungr Sings Nina Simone - live at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
more >>
Coda (Ireland)
Simply an exceptional interpreter.
more >>
Rock 'n' Reel
3 Stars
Barb Jungr, who has previously interpreted Bob Dylan and Jacques Brel, pays homage to Nina Simone over eleven songs.
more >>
Atlantic Audio Society
She makes the often-copied songs her very own.
more >>
High Fidelity (Poland)
4½ Stars
A superb review in this Polish audiophile publication.
more >>
Jazzwise
3 Stars
Jungr's phrasing and ability to slide across end rhymes in to the next line are the stuff of revelation.
more >>
Record Collector
4 Stars
A fabulous new album by Barb Jungr
more >>
The Independent
Jazz Album of the Week: Classy doesn't begin to sum it up.
more >>
The Times
3 Stars
Imaginative arrangements of tunes associated with Nina Simone.
more >>
The Scotsman
3 Stars
At first glance the title might lead you to expect another foray into Dylan territory, but the sub-title. "Hymn to Nina", reveals the real subject of this latest outing.
more >>
Blues Art Journal
Nina's fans will be delighted with this joyous set, as no doubt will be Barb's too.
more >>
Scotland on Sunday
3 Stars
Jungr's pure, throaty vocals have a fluidity and agility which allow her to pull off the trickiest numbers with graceful ease.
more >>
Evening Standard
Barb Jungr is neither jazz diva nor blues belter, but she does have a compelling way of injecting truth into a song.
more >>
The Sunday Times
4 Stars
The real pleasure lies in the typically thoughtful juxtapositions of material
more >>
The Independent
4 Stars
The most startling pieces here are the medleys.
more >>
Uncut
Brave Simone tribute from classy British-based jazz singer.
more >>

Barb Jungr - Just Like a Woman (hymn to Nina) - The Jazz Rag


07 May 2008
The Jazz Rag
Les Tomkins

After Claire Martin saluting Shirley Horn, we have Barb Jungr saluting Nina Simone. In both cases, the voices and the approach are very different from those of their subjects of homage. In Barb Jungr's case, there is a strong common factor - both she and Nina Simone can be termed great entertainers, performers and interpreters. Likewise, I have to wonder whether the word "jazz" is fully applicable to what we hear. The point of departure, for me, is that Barb appeals to my palate much more than Nina ever did. To each his own.

Although Rochdale-born Barb has been active in cabaret-type areas for some years, I was not awakened to her talent till I heard her 2002 album "Every Grain of Sand" - her highly individual takes on Bob Dylan songs, which I found inspirational. Her subsequent CDs have tended to include Dylan compositions, as does this one, with three that Nina "covered" as they say.

As ever, she has collaborated with some of our finest players for these fiery or tender expositions of Simone-sung stuff. The excellent Jenny Carr directs and is on piano; she also is part of the frequent backing voices, along with Barb and Jessica Lauren, who contributes organ, harmonica and assorted other sounds to the mix. Johnny Lee has a wide range of drum beats including military-style to supply. Add the veteran bassman Danny Thompson and some very effective spots of tenor and soprano from Mark Lockheart, and you have ingredients for a constantly-gripping programme.

It's hard to specify highlights, but the perfect power of the title track and the measured menace of Lilac Wine are certainly among them. I also like the way Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood builds steadily to an extended ending, and the rocking lilt of To Love Somebody. A song I've had adverse reactions to in the past is Bricusse/Newley's Feeling Good, but the sheer infectious exuberance of this version wins me over totally. Certainly Ms Jungr is adept in transforming her chosen themes into things of her own, so that can be said to justify her rating as a jazz singer.


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Barb JungrBarb Jungr
Just Like A Woman - Hymn To NinaJust Like A Woman - Hymn To Nina