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Barb Jungr - Waterloo Sunset - Daily Telegraph

05 April 2004
Daily Telegraph
Martin Gayford

Muggings aside, the old Ray Davies song Waterloo Sunset is certainly in the air. The American artist and architect Dan Graham has named his extension to the Hayward Gallery after it. Now it has turned up as the title track of this album by contemporary jazz singer Barb Jungr - and it's one of the best things on the recording.

Jungr strikes me as not so much a jazz singer in the style of Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday, as a cabaret performer. There's nothing wrong with that, of course; the late Mabel Mercer turned cabaret singing into an art form, and so, at her best, does Jungr. Her voice has a touch of the central European huskiness of Lotte Lenya, and her repertoire is largely made up of what you might call modern standards - including on this album a generous helping of Bob Dylan, and some veteran pop songs. The result is eclectic - veering from an Everly Brothers piece to the veteran standard Laugh, Clown, Laugh - and a mixed success. But her version of Waterloo Sunset shines out.

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