Swedish Jazz Quartet (plus vocals) gives tribute to legendary composer
This new CD - produced for the Swedish label Volenza in 2010 - is marking its American release through the Naxos label.
The jam packed (77-minute-plus album contains 16 Porter compositions performed by a quartet of Swedish musicians who all seem to have been born in the 1960s. On five of the tracks they are accompanied by Vivian Buczek, a Polish-born singer who, according to the bio in the booklet, now performs in Sweden.
The album is the second project from producer Torgil Rosenberg, who published a Swedish music magazine in the 1970s and whose previous project was a tribute to Andre Previn. Rosenberg has produced a nice package with a 28-page booklet containing an essay on Porter's life, another on his "music" and a paragraph on each of the songs and performances here. It's mentioned a few times that they tried to choose "uncommon" or "lesser performed" Porter songs. Yet many here are the standards from the title track through "Anything Goes" and "You're the Top". But there are some lesser-known songs here like "Dream Dancing" (from "You Were Never Lovelier") and "Down To the Depths of the Ninetieth Floor" (an Ethel Merman song but performed only instrumentally here).
The musicians are all talented and Buczek can sing a jazz song. I'm guessing this was originally aimed at the Swedish jazz market but it should also appeal to those who can never get enough of jazz treatments for standards of the American Popular Songbook.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.