I really enjoy going to performances in small concert halls, a few hundred people in a venue with good acoustics and reserved seats, where the musicians interact on a warm intimate level with their audience. Last night I once again enjoyed such a concert. Rebekka Bakken came to town and played an excellent concert performing songs from her latest CD, A Little Drop Of Poison, a celebration of and tribute to the songs of Tom Waits. Along with Geir Sundstøl on guitar and steel guitar, the incredible cellist and bassist Svante Henryson and drummer Rune Arnesen she played a two-hour selection of Wait’s songs mixed with a nice selection of her own material.
Born in Oslo in 1970, Bakken studied violin and piano as a child, and in 1995 relocated to New York City to pursue a professional music career. There she paired with Austrian-born guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel and together they toured the local nightclub circuit as a duo. In time she also befriended German pianist Jukia Hülsmann, with whom she recorded the 2003 album Scattering Poems, a collection of jazz performances inspired by the poems of e.e. cummings. Upon completing the project she returned to Europe, settling in Vienna and signed a solo deal with the Universum label. Her debut LP, The Art Of How To Fall, followed shortly afterward. In 2005 she resurfaced with her commercial breakthrough, Is That You? In 2006 she released I Keep My Cool. With her warm, friendly and easygoing personality, she mixed with the audience after the concert, as attested to by the photo below of the two of us together. I highly recommend her music to everyone. Thank you Rebekka for a wonderful and special evening and all of the beautiful music you have shared with us over the years…
You can listen to one of my favourite songs from Scattering Poems, the track Anyone, here:
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