Barb Jungr - Man in the Long Black Coat - Jazzwise

As Barb Jungr notes in the CD booklet, her first album of material from the Bob Dylan songbook, her 2002 recording Every Grain of Sand, marked ‘the beginning of a love affair'. Paying tribute to Dylan in his 70thbirthday year, this new compilation brings together all of the Dylan songs that Jungr has recorded since Every Grain, with the added bonus of four newly recorded songs - ‘Man In The Long Black Coat', ‘It Ain't Me Babe', ‘Sara' and ‘With God On Our Side' - whish the singer has introduced into her live repertoire. Heard back to back, what impresses most about the 13-track collection is the sheer variety of approach - rhythmically, harmonically, texturally - from the infectious 5/4 groove of ‘The Times They Are A-Changin' and the reggae-tinged ‘Just Like A Woman', to the hypnotic bass-plus-finger-clicks of ‘Trouble in Mind' and the autumnal soulfulness of ‘I Shall Be Released' (arranged for voice and string quartet). Of the new material, the suitably apocalyptic title track, opening with ominously toiling bells and open fifths in the piano, provides the most dramatic lead-off song imaginable. As we've come to expect from Linn, the recording quality throughout is faultless, with every tiny textural detail given its rightful place in the mix. If you've yet to enter Barb Jungr's musical universe, then this paean to Dylan is just about the perfect place to start.

22 June 2011