Recital Room, City Halls, 3rd March 2007

Part of Jazz from Sweden

It’s hard to work out quite what it is which makes some people jazz singers, and others just singers who do jazzy material. It’s something to do with a sense of rhythm, the ability to improvise, and the ability to interact with your accompanists rather than just have them play away in the background. Whatever it is that makes a real jazz singer, Jeanette Lindström has it. She’s not got as good a voice as Viktoria Tolstoy who appeared here a few weeks ago, but unlike Tolstoy, she never left you wondering if what you were hearing was poppy jazz or jazzy pop. This was the real thing.

The one slight let down was some of her material: she wrote almost all of the songs she did herself, and while they were okay, none of them were particularly memorable. Still, she must get points for trying, rather than simply regurgitating old American songs. There are plenty of instrumentalists around who play originals which don’t come anywhere near the class of stuff by Tadd Dameron or Ornette Coleman, so why should a singer get criticised for not being Richard Rogers or Cole Porter?

Her predominantly Swedish band were good too. Peter Nylander played fairly attackless Bill Frisell-style guitar on one of those stupid-looking 1980s guitars which look as if they’re broken because they don’t have a machine head; Steve Hamilton was his usually reliable self on piano; and Christian Spering and Peter Danemo kept everything moving along nicely on bass and drums.