Elin Furubotn Jazz too Chilly to Ignite


Heilt Nye Vei

Ozella Music 039

* ½

I was surprised to find that Heilt Nye Vei is Norwegian jazz singer Elin Furubotn’s fifth release because, frankly, it sounds like the sort of record someone too young for the material would make. Granted this release falls into the smooth jazz category, but throughout Furubotn is soft where she should be sassy, whispery where she ought to let loose, and flabby where she ought to be muscular. Perhaps the idea was to contrast the harder instrumentals with the prettiness of Furubotn’s voice, but it doesn’t work. What one ends up remembering are the funky bass lines of Gjermund Silset, the sexy sax of Karl Seglem, the cascading piano runs of David Wallumrød, and the overall vibrancy of the arrangements. What one easily forgets is most of Furubotn’s vocal work. She sounds like a pop singer trying to do jazz, an impression driven home on the album’s several tracks that are more pop influenced, and the only ones in which she sounds as if she’s in her element. Granted she’s Norwegian, but Furubotn could stand to melt her icy vocals with some occasional fire.

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