Solveig was recently featured in Observer Music Monthly as one of the ten things to watch in Jazz for 2006! On PIXIEDUST, her debut album on ACT, Solveig Slettahjell works on the principal of slowness to perfection with the Slow Motion Quintet and could there be a more appropriate name for a band? In Norway, Solveig Slettahjell has for some time been considered one of their most celebrated jazz singers. After studying music at the Oslo Music Conservatoire she began her career in the early '90s, mixing country, jazz standards and Norwegian folk songs, with the odd song by Prince or Tom Waits thrown in. Over time Solveigs ambitions have developed considerably. In the vocal ensemble vonDrei and Kvitretten she has developed her own experimental style. A sort of onomatopoetic technique, in which she breaks up syllables and words, squeezing, extending, shortening and working them harmonically so as to create an unmistakable soundscape. The principle of taking every song to the skeleton in slow tempi is her indispensable approach. Personnel: Solveig Slettahjell vocals / Sjur Miljeteig - trumpet / Morten Qvenild - piano / Mats Eilertsen- bass / Per Oddvar Johansen drums.
Pixiedust is the third album from singer Solveig Slettahjell and her Slow Motion Quintet who have been busy picking up plaudits all over their native Norway.
Solveig's 'slowly does it' approach aims to highlight the nuance, depth and delicacy within the music - tantric jazz if you like. The effect is a kind of folky, bleepy jazz with real warmth and a strong sense of individuality. Solveig's open, unfussy voice sits comfortably against the backdrop of the band. She resists the need for fireworks; the emphasis is on characterisation in her own, "just quirky enough" way. This is clearly a woman who knows her own mind - and it's very Scandinavian.
Led by pianist Morten Qvenild, the ensemble playing is subtle, confident and free in a predictably artsy, restrained way.There's a strong sense of distillation of ideas within this band,and that's what makes the musiccharming and frustrating in equal measure. Focussing the music through the principle of slowness has created an intense, compelling sound, beautifully performed. But no matter how tempting, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. --Freya Mitchell
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