Sunna Gunnlaugs – Distilled

distilled(Sunny/Sky 730)

I first heard pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs on drummer Scott McLemore’s Remote Location, and I’m delighted to be able to hear some more of her – and him – here.

This is a thoroughly absorbing trio disc, with Þorgrímur Jónsson on bass, and is further evidence of what beautiful music is being made in Iceland. All the tunes here are written by members of the band with the exception of the late Paul Motian’s From Time To Time.

It’s for the most part medium-paced, and the push is gentle, the sound spacious, and all three players sound marvellously comfortable taking some chances in each other’s company while buying into the same melodic mood.

The Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio

The Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio

The title tune has a particularly delicious hook to the melody, and is the kind of tune that will go round your head long after the music has stopped. Switcheroo has a nice loose time feel – Sunna says of this McLemore piece: “Try to imagine Bach and Ornette Coleman on holiday in Iceland.”

The bassist’s Smiling Face has a jazz standard feel to it, while Gallop has a Monkish knottiness to it, set over a lovely loping groove, with Gunnlaugs in particularly Jarrettish mood.

Great recording sound, too. If you can’t find it in your usual music outlets, try here.

Categories: CD review

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