Not every singer who is relevant to vocal jazz is a rigid purist who completely rejects the influence of R&B, pop, and folk. There are some jazz-friendly singers who stray outside of jazz, which is what Swedish singer/songwriter Rigmor Gustafsson often does on Alone with You. Parts of this CD offer straight-ahead post-bop, while other parts are more pop-minded and/or R&B-ish and draw on influences ranging from Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro to Stevie Wonder. And the good news is that whether Alone with You veers in a post-bop direction or more of a pop/R&B direction, this is one of Gustafsson's more consistent albums. Some of Gustafsson's releases have a reputation for being uneven, but this 2007 recording does a better job of staying on track creatively -- and that may have to do with the fact that it is a very hands-on project for her. Every melody on Alone with You was composed by Gustafsson herself, ranging from the straight-ahead post-bop of "On Higher Ground" to the jazzy pop/R&B of "Special Effects" and "Voodoo Skills" to the folkish moves of "Medan du Väntar" (which is the only Swedish-language offering on an album that is performed primary in English). Gustafsson didn't write all of the lyrics; five of the 13 tracks use the talents of other lyricists, including Swedish jazz singer Lina Nyberg on "Special Effects." But Gustafsson wrote most of the lyrics, and she definitely wrote all of the melodies on a solid effort that isn't recommended to jazz purists but is among the more memorable discs in her catalog.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson