Torun Eriksen vocals
David Wallumrød keys
Kjetil Dalland bass /guitar
Andreas Bye drums
Torun Eriksen, the „voice as crystal clear as a Norwegian mountain stream” (Jazzthing 09/16) is back: on the one hand familiar with her unique, enchanting mixture of gentleness and determination, at the same time with a new sound. Three years have gone since “Visits” had been released in 2013, an album with only cover versions – time for ripening of the new album “Grand White Silk” in all its complexity and diversity, released in Autumn 2016 at Jazzland Recordings.
It’s the fifth and most ambitious album of the Norwegian singer. For the first time she produced and arranged an album herself, together with her long-time musical companion, bass player Kjetil Dalland.
While developing the pieces and the recording they decided to be bold, to let things grow, to enter new terrain – and this results in an album where the homogeneous acoustical landscapes of her former albums are combined with electronic elements, creating a stunning stylistic variety, without becoming random. Lyrical Jazz ballads are to be found as well as ambitious Pop songs and Gospel sing alongs.
But still it is Torun’s voice, being the remarkable center of the music. Still it is the honest, intelligent und partly deeply moving texts which are the soul of her pieces. Love, shame and self-satisfaction, physical, emotional and electronic connections – Torun Eriksen creates a lyrical contrast of light and shadow with her new album, combining universal truths with observations of everyday life.
Besides Kjetil Dalland (bass guitar, guitars, programming) she is joined by drummer Andreas Bye and pianist David Wallumrød who is a faithful companion since her debut in 2003. Together they are creating a multilayered sound which is pushing boundaries of any genre. They are supporting Torun’s texts carefully and progressively, still in a humble and serving way.
“Grand White Silk” is setting new standards for an already impressing career, preparing the way for a next step with its (again) successful cooperation of Torun and Kjetil: a duo album, which will be released in autumn 2018 at Jazzland. Times of excitement and anticipation!
Torun has been singing in various Gospel choirs since early childhood days and by that developed her skills as a singer and soloist. In her home town Skien she came in touch with Jazz and song-writing at high school. In 1998 she moved to Oslo where she started studying at the Norwegian Institute of Stage and Studio (NISS). At that time her collaboration with bass player Kjetil Dalland began. Bugge Wesseltoft offered her to publish an album at his label Jazzland Recordings after having discovered one of her songs by a coincidence: “Glittercard”, Torun’s debut album, was released in 2003. Followed by “Prayers and Observations” in 2006 – also produced by Wesseltoft – and by “Passage” in 2010 (Emarcy Records). After having released the cover album “Visits” (Emarcy Records) Torun returned to Jazzland Recordings with “Grand White Silk” (2016) in 2013.
Torun’s music has also been arranged for chamber orchestra, Bigbands and choirs. In 2007 a collaboration with Jazzchor Freiburg has started which lead to concerts in Japan, Korea, Germany and France. Two years ago she also started touring with German Jazz guitar player Susan Weinert and as part of WDR Jazzfest in 2016 her duo with Julia Hülsmann was born, Shakespeare sonnets being at the core of their program.
Noticeable philosophy without cool intellectualism, perfect phrasings and a sensually vocal and instrumental performance let the songs sparkle like diamonds. Each song is unique, a glimmering gem.
A voice as crystal clear as a Norwegian mountain stream: Torun Eriksen doesn’t need a vibrato or other gimmicks to impress. Also on her fifth album – produced by herself with her long-time companion Kjetil Dalland, the 39 years old singer doesn’t change much of her recipe for success. Working with mainly moderate tempi the Norwegian singer doesn’t only sing Jazz ballads. Her mulitlayered vocals in “Downhill” are reminding of contemporary R&B sounds, still combined with progressive keyboard and guitar sounds of her trio. “Right here” is in a similar way experimental with reminiscences of Björk. Beautifully optimistic “I’ve been thinking” – showing Eriksen’s roots in Gospel music. Minimalist “Winter Today” and “Darkness” are outstanding, only accompanied by Dalland’s artistic guitar play. Scandinavian melancholy, reduced to its pure essence.
(…) her pieces are often starting, in the unique way of Torun Eriksen, almost unspectacularly, quiet. But little by little she is developing a complex soundscape, filled with very different, but convenient sounds – from experimental to classic. Eriksen’s outstanding gentle voice is strolling through this universal abundance, by that holding all the eclectic sentiments with her haunting texts together. (…) this quintet knows (…) how to stay balanced in a wonderful ballad, never too excessive, never too melancholic. They are handling this difficulty well and so making Torun Eriksen’s new album an intense, lucid and charming listening experience.
Her Jazzpop appears very reduced, almost crisp, complemented with an impressing voice, which is anything but sweet swinging, still showing warmth. (…) on “Grand White Silk” the 39 years old singer surprises with a new direction of Jazz, combining electronic sounds, synthesizer and Rhodes piano with classic instruments. (…) her voice navigating sovereignly through electronic soundscapes, once in a while finding confidence in Jazz or picking up pace with Soul or even Gospel.
Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung Online 09/2016