Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Susanne Abbuehl, The Gift

Some artists seem destined for the ECM sound. Swiss-Dutch singer-songwriter Susanne Abbuehl most definitely is one. In her third album for the label, The Gift (ECM B0018444-02), she captivates with song settings of poetic lyrics by herself, Emily Dickenson, Emily Bronte, Sara Teasdale, and Wallace Stevens. The music has a natural ambiance that comes out of Susanne's own sensibilities--a lovely lyrical voice, a feel for the inner meanings of the lyrics, her open musical sense and the well-thought arrangements for her accompanists Matthieu Michel on the flugel, Wolfert Brederode on piano and harmonium, and Olavi Louhivuori on drums and percussion.

The music has a spacious peacefulness, like a crystal clear pond in stillness which contains much that is visible and shades of color in between. It has ECM jazz sensibilities but also a near-folk quality as well, something long-time ECM listeners will find new yet familiar.

It is pure beauty. It is what you may need to hear after a day of everyday madness. It is a Brown Study on a compact disk, something you can enter into and leave behind what does not need to be rehashed. It is a great antidote for the shell shocked.

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