Come in from the Rain Solveig Slettahjell
- 1Come in from the Rain04:07
- 2On the Street Where You Live03:44
- 3You're Driving Me Crazy02:48
- 4Since I Fell for You04:04
- 5So I Borrow Your Smile04:40
- 6How Deep Is the Ocean04:50
- 7Now or Never03:13
- 8I Lost My Sugar in Salt Lake City04:19
- 9Johnsburg, Illinois04:34
- 10Round Midnight06:46
Info for Come in from the Rain
At the beginning of the 2000s, Norwegian singer Solveig Slettahjell and her Slow Motion Quintet made the European jazz scene really sit up and take notice. Her concept, as Canadian critic John Kelman has written, was to take songs from the American songbook and to “slow them down. Way down. [...] She proved that slow, powerful and dramatic need not be mutually exclusive terms.” Her new album "Come In From The Rain" demonstrates how much those virtues have strengthened and deepened in the intervening years.
That astonishing ability to concentrate on the essentials of a song – and to express much more with nuances and details than would be possible with volume or bombast– are still Slettahjell trademarks. Together with pianist Andreas Ulvo, bassist Trygve Waldemar Fiske and drummer Pål Haus- ken, Slettahjell captivates the listener from the outset of the opening title track "Come In From The Rain". They literally pull us out of the rain into their musical cosmos, introduced by Ulvo’s wonderful piano touch, the minimalist drum rhythms from Hausken and the grounding yet playful bass of Fiske.
And yet when she chooses to take other directions, they feel just as natural and magical too: Frederick Loewe’s "On The Street Where You Live" from "My Fair Lady" pushes forward with beguiling momentum. The Walter Donaldson classic "You're Driving Me Crazy" has a skippy lightness to it, and the playful incomprehension she brings to the question “What did I do?” is irresistible. "Now Or Never" by Billie Holi- day and Curtis Lewis from 1949 rolls along with a springy shuffle rhythm, and when she launches into a blindingly energetic scat chorus, the listener has the sense that her commitment phobic lover is surely getting the ass-kicking he deserves.
Slettahjell prepares her projects thoroughly and gives them the time they need to mature. “The idea of putting together a new band and of recording this album have been in the making for at least the last three years,” she says. And the technical processes of recording are a source of pride: “We recorded this album live to tape in the Propeller Music Division studio in Oslo. Working in this old fashioned way was such a thrill and gives weight to the interplay and instant music-making aspect of the recording and of our quartet.”
There are timeless old tales like Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell For You" or Irving Berlin's "How Deep Is The Ocean", stories to be rediscovered afresh like Leon René's "I Lost My Sugar In Salt Lake City", and more recent ones like "Johns- burg, Illinois" by Tom Waits. Waits is one of her favourites, and the inclusion of one of his songs has become a Slettahjell trope. And there are new ones like "So I Borrow Your Smile", her own composition. These songs may come from folk or jazz or pop, yet Slettahjell and her highly accomplished musicians always make them individual, tasteful and authentic. And the subtle way she bends notes, always bringing them to into perfectly true-pitched final focus is nothing short of miraculous. Every time.
The vibe right through this album is well-judged, the storytelling is compelling. And how apt to bring the day – and the album – to a close with a deliciously poised, reflective and spacious Thelonious Monk "Round Midnight". When Solveig Slettahjell first became noticed she was an irresistible new force in European song. She is now a unique and major presence.
Solveig Slettahjell, vocals
Andreas Ulvo, piano
Trygve Waldemar Fiske, bass
Pål Hausken, drums
Recorded live to tape at Propeller Music Division, Oslo, January/February 2020
Engineered by Mike Hartung. Assistant: Frida Blomberg
Mixed analog from tape using the Tree Audio Generation 2 console
Mastered at Propeller Mastering by Morgan Nicolaysen
Produced by Kåre Christoffer Vestrheim
(pronounced: Sul-vay Shlet-I-Yell) was born in Bærum near Oslo in 1971 and grew up in the small town of Orkanger near Trondheim. As her father was a pastor, she grew up in church. She sang in choirs from the age of 7 and began accompanying various youth and gospel choirs on the piano from the age of 13. She also sang and played her own versions of hymns, negro spirituals, Norwegian religious folksongs, as well as her own compositions.
Solveig studied classical piano and singing at a secondary school for music in Trondheim, before going on to jazz studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music in 1992. Here she met Sidsel Endresen, who was her teacher from 1993 and until Solveig finished her master’s degree in 2000. Her final exam consisted of a thesis on the rhythmic aspects of phrasing and a concert, which was the beginning of the Slow motion concept.
At the Academy Solveig met the pianist Håkon Hartberg. Together they formed the Slettahjell/Hartberg Duo. The duo’s repertoire consisted of their versions of country songs, jazz standards, Norwegian folksongs, children songs, music by Prince, Tom Waits and others. The Slettahjell/Hartberg Duo was Solveig’s most important musical project until 1996.In 1995 Solveig joined a band called Squid, which worked with their own original material based on soul, acid-jazz, and funk music. They did many concerts until the group disbanded in 1999. Squid recorded one album, "Super", in 1998.
In 1997 she joined the Norwegian experimental vocal quartet Kvitretten. The group consisted of the female jazz singers Eldbjørg Raknes, Kristin Asbjørnsen, Tone Aase and Solveig. Their repertoire was mostly music written for Kvitretten by the group members and by various Norwegian contemporary jazz composers. The quartet toured Finland, Germany and Sweden as well as Norway and collaborated with various musicians, vocal groups and poets until they separated in 2002.Solveig recorded two albums with Kvitretten; "Everything turns" (1999) and "Kloden er en snurrebass som snurrer oss" (2002) with Norwegian poet Torgeir Rebbolledo Pedersen.
Vocal ensembles have played a big part in Solveig Slettahjell’s musical work. She worked in the trio vonDrei for three years. vonDrei focused on classical contemporary music and the crossover to improvised music. She also worked with a larger vocal ensemble called Trondheim Voices with, among others, Eldbjørg Raknes and Live Maria Roggen (from Come Shine).
In 2002 Solveig was part of Sidsel Endresen`s project Living Rooms, written for the Norwegian jazz festival Nattjazz. In December 2005 she will work with Sidsel Endresen again on her vocal work for four singers written for the "Norwegian Voices" concert in London.Solveig Slettahjell has also contributed to various recordings, such as Jon Balke`s "Batagraf" (ECM 2005) and Friko, "Burglar Ballads" (C+C Records 2003) with trumpet player Sjur Miljeteig (Slow motion quintet) and drummer Peder Kjellsby (who wrote six of the songs on Pixiedust).
Awards: Solveig Slettahjell’s Slow motion quintet received the Norwegian Grammy, Spellemannsprisen, for their album Silver, in February 2005. In July 2005 she received the "Vital-price" at Kongsberg jazz festival and Radka Toneff`s memory award at Molde international jazz festival one week later.
This album contains no booklet.