Elisabeth Lohninger

Elisabeth Lohninger: Songs of Love & Destruction

$12.88 $14.98
Product Type: CD

Title: Songs of Love & Destruction
Label: CD Baby

In a career that has taken her from the slopes of the Austrian alps, where she sang folk songs as a young girl, to jazz clubs, concert halls and the stages of international jazz festivals, vocalist Elisabeth Lohninger has proven herself to be a powerful and elusive talent. On her latest CD, Songs of Love and Destruction (September 1st, 2010 Lofish Music), she once again charms listeners with her intimate delivery and insight into a song's lyrics. Joining her is an all-star cast of jazz talents that includes pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Evan Gregor, and drummer Jordan Perlson, along with special guests trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin, and violinist Christian Howes. Drawing on her love of pop music, as well as jazz and her own originals, she has crafted an understated, but deeply emotional album that looks at love, as one of her favorite singer-songwriters puts it, "from both sides now." "I have lived with the idea for this album for many years," Lohninger says. "To me, love and destruction are intimately connected. I find that love in the modern sense is a very fragile concept that leads us to often destroy that which we love most dearly. Many times, I believe that it is our fear of happiness, lack of self-knowledge and acceptance that leads us down the destructive route. Sometimes in intimate relationships, once we have found what we think we are looking for, we tend to turn around and look for what might be wrong with it. We can also fall into this deeply romanticized idea of what love is, an idea that has been passed down for generations-the romantic notions of the "bride in white" or "living happily ever after"-and we get trapped in roles that aren't honest and true. I chose the songs with the title in mind, each one of them representing an idea of how we love, lose love, are obsessive, desperate, happy, wise, or foolish in the context of love." Nothing seems to come between Lohninger and a song. Her clear, warm alto voice gets directly at the heart of the words with little embellishment, but a great deal of sincerity and subtlety. Her stylistic breadth and emotional depth allow her to inhabit songs embracing a wide range of form and feeling. She handles the trembling apprehension and hope of K.D. Lang's "Save Me" and the vitality and strength of Latin-jazz flavored "La Puerta" as easily as the knowing irony of her original gospel-blues swinger, "A Little Bit Tricky," or the self-lacerating despair of Joni Mitchell's "River." Always displaying exquisite control of her material, she can inflect notes and play with melody without concealing the beautiful melody beneath her understated artistry. The Beatles familiar "Here There and Everywhere" is transformed by a muscular Latin groove and Lohninger's personal interpretation of the melody, but still retains it's lilting lyricism. She takes fresh approaches to classics from the Great American Songbook, as well, with a Latin-tinged medium tempo arrangement of Dietz and Schwartz's "Alone Together" and a devastating, emotionally exposed reading of "With Every Breath I Take" in duet with pianist Barth. Besides being a supremely personal interpreter of songs, Lohninger is also a graceful and focused improviser. Her solo on "Si Me Quieres" emerges from the heart of the melody and travels it's own path. She's accompanied on the album by a first-rate rhythm section that provides inspirational support and creative solos of their own. Pianist Bruce Barth displays a special rapport with her on their duet version of "With Every Breath I Take," and solos with lyrical abandon on "If I Should Lose You." Bassist Gregor also provides empathic melodic underpinnings during his introductory duet with Lohninger on "I Fall in Love Too Easily." Guest trumpeter Ingrid Jensen's warm, delicate sound blends seamlessly with Lohninger's voice on the singer's "Away and Away Again." Her trumpet solo adds a piercing beauty to "Save Me." McCaslin provides extra power to "Here There and Everywhere" and "La Puerta," on which his staccato phrases tap dance over Perlson's Latin groove. Growing up in a small Austrian mountain village (population 25), Lohninger started singing in school and church choirs. At the age of six, she joined her two sisters in what would become a nationally renowned vocal group specializing in the songs of her homeland. Driven by her musical curiosity, she soon ventured in other directions and studied classical music and jazz, finishing her studies with a Masters degree in music and English Language and Literature. In 1994, Lohninger relocated to New York and has released seven albums since then. Teaming up with pianist Walter Fischbacher to co-found the duo Perfect Roommates, she released Austrian LiedGood, a fusion of Austrian folk music and jazz. Her pop-soul album Alien Lovers, released in 2000 under the alias Tera, provides additional evidence of her stylistic versatility. In 2003, she and Fischbacher also recorded IF, an album of electronica chill-out tracks, which were featured extensively in the daytime drama One Life to Live. Her 2004 release Beneath Your Surface (Lofish Music) with fischbacher, Steve Doyle and Hari Ganglberger sonsisted mainly of her jazz originals as did the 2006 release The Only Way Out Is Up (Lofish), with her working trio of Fischbacher, bassist Chris Tarry, and drummer Jordan Perlson. "Nervy, fresh and somewhat recklessly, Elisabeth Lohninger ... presents a thrilling, multi layered and emotionally charged album," said Jazz Improv. "Drawing from stylistic influences as diverse as jazz, pop and drum & bass, Ms. Lohninger succeeds in creating a breathlessly suspenseful mood." Songs of Love and Destruction brings all of Lohninger's experience in jazz and pop music into focus on her most emotionally complex and memorable album yet.

1.1 River
1.2 Save Me
1.3 Si Me Quieres
1.4 Here There and Everywhere
1.5 Alone Together
1.6 With Every Breath I Take
1.7 Away and Away Again
1.8 La Puerta
1.9 I Fall in Love Too Easily
1.10 No Moon at All
1.11 A Little Bit Tricky
1.12 If I Should Lose You

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