Barb Jungr - Man in the Long Black Coat Live in NY - NY Culture

In 2002, the British singer (generally labeled as "cabaret" for lack of a better word) Barb Jungr released "Barb Jungr sings Bob Dylan: Every Grain of Sand," which is, as far as I'm concerned, the most significant vocal album of the 21st century thus far-certainly the one that's had the most profound impact on me, personally. Ms. Jungr was the first to show, and brilliantly so, that Dylan songs can be "unlocked" by singers outside of the folk and rock genres and that they're no less suitable as raw material for reinterpretation than those of Gershwin or Berlin. She now has collected 13 additional Dylan songs into an excellent new album, "The Man in The Long Black Coat," yet experiencing her in person is even more moving: She forges a truly cosmic connection between singer and songwriter, performer and material, artist and art.

In a sense, Mr. Dylan's music is even more driven by re-interpretation than that of the canonical theater composers, like Cole Porter, in that so many Dylan songs are, essentially, his own very personal interpretations of existing folk and blues material; i.e., "Girl from the North Country" is a very straightforward paraphrase of traditional "Scarborough Fair." His songwriting method is, in a very real way, a virtual collaboration with those who have come before him, and Ms. Jungr takes the process a step further-and she reinterprets Dylan songs every bit as freely and imaginatively as Mr. Dylan does that of his own sources.

NY Culture