Same Girl Youn Sun Nah
- 1My Favorite Things03:58
- 2My Name Is Carnival04:02
- 3Breakfast In Baghdad05:56
- 4Uncertain Weather03:22
- 5Song Of No Regret03:45
- 6Kangwondo Arirang04:06
- 7Enter Sandman04:52
- 8Same Girl04:14
- 11La Chanson d'Hélène05:07
Info for Same Girl
Styles and genres may change from tune to tune, but it is always the same girl you are listening to: Youn Sun Nah. Truly unique.
At Youn Sun Nah’s 2009 debut in Munich’s Unterfahrt jazz club, the audience went against the usual customs and arose for a standing ovation during the interval, not even waiting for the concert to finish. Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung called her the “discovery of the season” and wrote, “there has not been something so brilliant, interesting and virtuosic in jazz singing for a long time.” She won the Audience Prize in the BMW Welt Jazz Awards as well as the hearts of Germany’s jazz fans on her extensive JazzToday tour. Rarely has a singer taken Germany so by storm as the Korean artist Youn Sun Nah has with her ACT debut “Voyage”.
“Voyage“ made it into the French top ten of the jazz charts (France is her second home) and won the coveted “CHOC” as CD of the month (Jazzman). What the Koreans and the French have already known for a long time can now also be witnessed here, as it can worldwide. In Youn Sun Nah, someone with star quality has stepped onto the music scene, someone who is able to forge bridges in a truly unique way. The bridge between Asia and Europe for example, or between jazz, chanson and pop; between the highest technical precision and extreme musical freedom, between minimalism and exuberance and the bridge between the familiar and the unfamiliar.
With her new album “Same Girl” Youn Sun Nah is still on a musical voyage, exploring and experimenting with different musical styles and genres. Again the song material is very diverse, but she is still the same girl the audience has come to know and love, surprising the listener with songs that have been interpreted in highly individual and distinctive ways, and which break free from the usual stylistic constraints. “I didn’t want to be confined to a particular repertoire but reflect all possible moments of my life,” she explains. “That’s why I think the album is atmospherically much more diverse than “Voyage” and, in certain respects, it has more depth and reflects even more aspects of my personality.”
“My Favorite Things” opens the album. Written by Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers, it represents the “Great American songbook” in a previously unheard way, as Youn Sun Nah performs the song, exactly like Randy Newman’s “Same Girl”, accompanied only by herself on the kalimba, like an Asiatic meditation monologue. Nah’s own composition “Pancake”, which she thought of whilst waiting to perform and feeling hungry and which was composed as a vehicle for her musicians, sounds like a humorous version or perhaps even a rhythmic antithesis of “Favorite Things”. A Korean folk song (“Kangwondo Arirang”) and an energy driven composition by Ulf Wakenius (“Breakfast In Baghdad”) also serve to demonstrate her almost unlimited possibilities of vocal expression, which range from precise onomatopoeic unison sung with an instrument to expressive explosions and delicate, filigree phrased pianissimo. With “Same Girl”, Sergio Mendes‘ “Song of No Regrets”, Philippe Sarde’s “La Chanson d’Helene” and not least “Enter Sandman“ by the heavy metal band Metallica, which is reduced to its lyrical content, does she subject completely different regions of pop music to her personality.
Yet Youn Sun Nah offers not only totally new interpretations of the works of the best and most famous songwriters – her album also features genuine rarities. The bluesy “Moondog”, for example, stems from British drummer Terry Cox who was a member of folkrock bands such as The Pentangle and also played drums for David Bowie, Elton John, and Charles Aznavour. She also makes sure American folk singer Jackson C. Frank, who died prematurely in 1999, isn’t forgotten. Nah recalls his brilliant talent, destroyed by illness and psychological problems and documented on only one album, into our consciousness with “My Name Is Carnival”. To finish, Youn Sun Nah fulfils a long harboured wish with a cover of Philippe Sarde’s “La Chanson d’Hélène”. She did after all study French literature in Korea before her musical career and in 1995 went to Paris to become a chanson singer. In this way she treads heartrendingly in the footsteps of Romy Schneider who sang it in the original with Michel Piccoli as narrator. His role is assumed by French multi-talent Roland Brival, a musician, singer, painter and writer from Martinique. “His producer of many years introduced him to me and when I heard his voice I immediately knew that his sound would be an interesting contrast to my voice,” says Youn Sun Nah.
“Never change a winning team” could also be the motto of “Same Girl”. Once again, she is accompanied by Lars Danielsson on the bass, Xavier Desandre-Navarre on percussion and particularly Ulf Wakenius, her fixed partner in live performances, on the guitar – a true all star team.
Youn Sun Nah’s new album embraces eleven fascinating song interpretations of a very special kind, her distinctive voice building the framework for her multi-faceted musical tastes. Styles and genres may change from tune to tune, but it is always the same girl you are listening to: Youn Sun Nah. Truly unique
'Korean singer Youn Sun Nah is a former French literature student who switched tracks to try her hand as a chanteuse in Paris, and climbed the jazz charts there with her debut album Voyage. She's an artist who mimics no obvious models (though there are hints of the lazy note-turns of Madeleine Peyroux), and she's unafraid of working with minimal backing. Her most expressive pieces are low key, but occasionally a raw power erupts into banshee wails. Though Youn Sun Nah visits jazz, pop, chanson and the traditional music of her homeland, she sounds closest to folk traditions throughout much of this session. My Name Is Carnival, a stormy tribute to the troubled and short-lived folk singer Jackson C Frank, contrasts with the rest of the set, which includes a fragile version of My Favourite Things, a pin-sharp wordless-improvisation on guitarist Ulf Wakenius's Breakfast in Baghdad, and the moving Randy Newman title track performed against a glockenspiel-like glitter.' (John Fordham, Guardian)
Youn Sun Nah, vocals, kalimba, music box, kazoo
Ulf Wakenius, guitars
Lars Danielsson, acoustic bass, cello
Xavier Desandre-Navarre, percussion
Special guest: Roland Brival, narration (track 11)
Produced by Axel Matignon & Lars Danielsson
Executive Producer: Jae Jin In (HUB MUSIC. Inc.)
Recorded at Nilento Studios, Gothenburg, Sweden, April 7-9, 2010
Mixed May 3-5, and mastered June 17, 2010 by Lars Nilsson
Youn Sun Nah
(born on August 28, 1969 in Seoul/Korea) grew up in a musical family: her father was a conductor, her mother a classical singer. She made her musical debut as a singer at age 23 with a concert with the Korean Symphony Orchestra, and went on to perform in numerous Korean musicals on a national stage, for which she has received numerous awards.
However, she did not find that musical environment fulfilling. She decided to go to Paris in 1995 to study jazz and French chanson at the CIM school (one of the oldest jazz schools in Europe), at the National Music Institute of Beauvais, and at the Nadia and Lili Boulanger Conservatory. Her innate talent for jazz revealed itself when she started playing in Parisian jazz clubs with her group, the Youn Sun Nah 5tet. She made her rounds on the Paris club scene, performances that would earn her invitations to work with many famous musicians. Youn Sun Nah made strong showing in a number of jazz competitions like La Défense, St. Maur, and Montmartre. She became the buzzword in theatres and festivals all over France, while also performing in Korea, essentially managing simultaneous careers in two countries.
Producing five albums in six years, she held numerous performances in France, Europe, and in Asia including Korea. Such vigorous activity would earn her an award as “Best Artist” in the Crossover category in Korea in 2004. The same year, the release of So I Am... was widely celebrated by French audiences as well as the press, who regarded her as one of the most remarkable singers of this generation. Active touring and musical performances finally came to fruition in the form of the Grand Prize at the highly reputable Jazz à Juan Concours in 2005, in addition to the prize of Best Young Artist Of The Year in Korea. Youn Sun Nah established her position as a premiere jazz artist in the Asian music scene and marketplace with the album Memory Lane, co-produced with Denmark’s top pianist Niels Lan Doky and Korean bassist Kim Jeong-Ryul in 2007. She also earned recognition from the American media and noted personalities from around the world with an invitation and performance at the Jazz at Lincoln Center, which would launch her to world stardom.
She is an artist who never fails to move audiences wherever she may be performing, in Europe, USA, Australia, and Asia. In 2009 ACT has signed her as an exclusive artist. Together with world-famous Swedish artists like Ulf Wakenius and Lars Danielsson she recorded her newest album and ACT-debut, VOYAGE (ACT 9019-2), which will be released by ACT in May 2009.