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Dance Without Answer

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The third ECM album by the trio of Great British jazz singer Norma Winstone, Italian pianist Glauco Venier and German clarinetist / saxophonist Klaus Gesing was recorded in December 2012 at Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano, with Manfred Eicher as producer.

Dance Without Answer pools material from diverse sources. Alongside the striking self-penned songs, there are pieces by ... Read more in Amazon's Norma Winstone Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Jan 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,369 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Dance Without Answer 5:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Cucurrucucu Paloma 4:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. High Places 7:10Album Only
Listen  4. Gust da essi viva 4:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. A tor a tor 2:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Live to Tell 4:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. It Might Be You 4:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Time of No Reply 3:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. San Diego Serenade 4:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. A Breath Away 5:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Bein' Green 4:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Slow Fox 5:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Everybody's Talkin' 4:53£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

The great British jazz singer Norma Winstone once again casts her net wide for source material for this third ECM album with Italian pianist Glauco Venier and German clarinettist/saxophonist Klaus Gesing. Alongside the striking self-penned songs, there are pieces by idiosyncratic singer/songwriters Fred Neil, Nick Drake and Tom Waits, as well as tunes associated with the cinema, with contemporary pop and more.

They take a fresh approach to Madonna's "Live To Tell", and to Dave Grusin's "It Might Be You", as well as Ralph Towner's "A Breath Away" (now with lyrics by Norma) and "Bein' Green", a children's song elevated to jazz standard status by Sinatra, Stan Kenton, Ray Charles and others. "As Winstone moves ever farther from the Great American Songbook", All About Jazz observed, "it's certain that, with band mates as sympathetic as Gesing and Venier, there's precious little she can't do."

This adaptive and resourceful trio has been active for more than a decade. When the long-running duo of Venier and Gesing invited Winstone to join them for concerts, the singer recognized the potential for developing a group music with its own character, distinguished by Venier's highly original harmonisations and Gesing's approach to the bass clarinet in particular. Oscillating between rhythm and melody roles, he sounds like no other jazz soloist on the instrument.

Their first album as trio, Chamber Music (Universal), was recorded in 2002. It was followed by the Grammy-nominated Distances, recorded for ECM in 2007, and Stories Yet To Tell in 2009. Dance Without Answer was recorded in December 2012 in Lugano, with Manfred Eicher as producer.

Personnel: Norma Winstone (voice), Glauco Venier (piano), Klaus Gesing (bass clarinet, soprano saxophone)


(4 stars) As with the group's acclaimed earlier sessions for ECM, Dance Without Answer mingles Winstone lyrics to her partners' tunes with diverse and audaciously reimagined covers...Not much hurries, flusters or intensifies Winstone's cool delivery, but her range, control and relaxation in open musical spaces remain awesome, and her pure tones are acquiring a more gravelly informality with the years. --The Guardian, (John Fordham), January 17, 2014

(4 stars) Another wonderfully eclectic collection...Winstone confirms her position as one of the great jazz lyricists, the vocal line always enhanced by Gesing's innovative bass clarinet work and Venier's adventurous harmonisations. --Jazzwise, (Peter Quinn), February 2014

(4 stars) There's a breadth of music here that is quite staggering without being overpoweringly eclectic...Up there with Distances, their best work together, the inclusion of the complex title track as well as the moving 'It Might Be You' just two of many reasons to discover this remarkable record. --Marlbank, (Stephen Graham), January 16, 2014

(4 stars) A serene selection of unfamiliar melodies, pure-toned clarinet solos, warm acoustic pianistics and silky vocals delivered in English and Friulian, a regional Italian dialect. A long way from the Great American Songbook. --Evening Standard, (Jack Massarik), January 24, 2014

Dance Without Answer is another major work from three musicians perfectly in harmony with each other. The recording is exquisite, too. --The Jazz Breakfast, (Peter Bacon), January 29, 2014

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ACB(swansea) TOP 50 REVIEWER on 2 Feb 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the third ECM release with Norma Winstone and Italian pianist Glauco Venier and German Klaus Gesing on bass clarinet and soprano saxophonist. This is a far cry from her 1970's collaborations with Mike Westbrook and other big band formats. Norma's vocals have matured. Norma seems more comfortable expressing herself with an ensemble. This is a superb rendition of her talents. Her pitch perfect confidence, subtle and light touches are meditative and poetic. This is eased by the magnificence of Gesing and Venier. This is a collection of music by her accompanists with Norma's written vocals and adventurous interpretations of standards and cinematic themes.

'Dance without Answer' opens with a haunting bass clarinet opening before Norma's lyrical interpretation of fond farewells. This sets the scene for poetical interpretation of the Tomas Mendez's Mexican 'Cucurrucucu Paloma', with her own lyrics. The Italian connection with 'Gust Da Essi' and the nursery rhyme 'A Tor A Tor' are written in Friulian dialect (North East Italy with 250,000 speakers). The bass clarinet of Gesing weaves and whirls throughout producing a sublime performance. The Gesing written number accompanied by Norma's lyrics is exquisite, her delivery clear and cool with Gesling's soprano sax swirling about her in a captivating way. The interpretations of standards, Nick Drake's 'Time of No Reply', Madonna's 'Live to tell', Tom Waite's 'San Diego Serenade', Ralph Towner's 'A breath Away' and Fred Neil's 'Everybody's Talkin' are taken in Norma Winstone style. Barely a whisper, the numbers are delivered with a strength and authority in a melancholic style.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. J. Reynolds on 2 Feb 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Norma Winstone's work with Glauco Venier and Klaus Gesing can be thought of as experimental and unique carrying on the tradition of her work with Azimuth. Her timing is perfect although the timbre of her voice is always a little insecure. Her pronunciation of non English lyrics leaves something to be desired. I note that this CD has been heavily featured on Helen Mayhew's Dinner Jazz on Jazz FM. It's like that. Novel but accessible. My favourite track is 'Bein' Green.' I'm happy with my purchase.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Manuel Grosso Galvan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Norma Winstone is great, his voice is clear and special, the songs are unforgettable. Some lyrics are composer by herself and the others are greats versions, specially "Cucucru Paloma" and a perfect "Everybody is talking" from Nilsson, songs from Nick Drake, Madonna or Tom Waits,. She play with Claudio Venier and Klaus Gesing. Voice, piano and saxes . Perfect combination for a peaceful record with a excellent production. Great album. Thanks Norma ¡¡¡
Norma just gets better with age 14 Dec 2014
By Grebbx - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Norma just gets better with age. Outstanding vocal phrasing as always. Glauco Venier & Klaus Gesing contribute intelligent arrangements played perfectly.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 4 July 2014
By Charles D Mackenzie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wonderful music and really meaningful lyrics
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