Saturday, September 5, 2009

Monica Zetterlund: Effortless Stockholm cool from the 60's songbird

There is a certain rewarding feeling to be had from discovering new music, particularly if the discovery was accidental, say from a friend's playlist, a movie or a shop's speakers. You become intrigued by the sound you hear and the emotions it evokes that it piques your curiosity about the song, its performer, its origins.

Today I had the fortune of coming across this very beautiful studio performance upon visiting the American Trad blog, Ivy Style. The performance is the 1966 studio recording of "Waltz for Debby" by Swedish jazz singer, Monica Zetterlund and the Bill Evans Trio. While the song in itself is a beautiful melody combining Monica's smoky (no pun intended) voice with the trio's deft accompaniment (replete with mid-song tempo changes), the visual component also contributed to the enigma of this Youtube video. The video begins with the camera on Monica chatting, glass in one hand and cigarette in the other, with the band playing at the background. She then saunters towards the grand piano to begin the session, then has a little discussion with the trio. Bill Evans plays the intro once, then again and this time magic begins as she joins in.

The coolness she exudes in this video exceeds anything seen in today's MTV. I will spend the rest of my afternoon watching her videos on Youtube.

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