Barb Jungr - Love Me Tender - Jazz at Ronnie Scott's

Barb Jungr's three previous Linn albums have seen her exercise her extraordinary talent for metamorphosing the songs of everyone from Bob Dylan and Jacques Brel to the Everly Brothers and Ray Davies into deeply personal, thought-provoking artistic statements; "Love Me Tender" addresses songs connected with pop music's ultimate icon: Elvis Presley. Arrangers Adrian York and Jonathan Cooper, given mostly non-musical atmospheric cues to do with Jungr's perceptions of the Deep South, have produced a remarkably homogeneous soundscape full of tolling bells, doomy repeated chords and aching spaces, transforming songs such as Love Me Tender, Heartbreak Hotel, Are You Lonesome Tonight? and In the Ghetto into poignant meditations on emotional yearning and loss. Jungr's voice, always affecting courtesy of its ability to move uncontrivedly between the most intimate dramatic whisper, a confiding earnestness tinged with melancholy vibrato, and a strident assertiveness, brings out all her material's subtlest nuances and the resulting album, which also contains a haunting original, Looking for Elvis, can only bolster Jungr's already considerable reputation as one of Europe's most intriguing and intelligent interpreters of the contemporary song.

Jazz at Ronnie Scott's
01 April 2005