Soren Lampe

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Soren Lampe's debut as a leader is an eclectic affair, delving into standards, timeless jazz compositions, pop, and rock, along with a few originals. The vocalist has a strong band led by pianist Kasper Villaume, though these sessions are a bit uneven. Part of the problem is Lampe's voice; while he has an excellent sense of rhythm, his thin sound is reminiscent of Van Morrison and it wears out its welcome before long. Some of the selections are outright duds, like Bill Withers' monotonous "Soul Shadows" (which isn't helped by the cheesy pop arrangement with a backing vocal); Jimi Hendrix's "Angel" and Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman" also stick out like a sore thumb. Better are his lively take of the standard "Witchcraft" and a heartfelt "Almost Like Being in Love." Lampe's decision to substitute his own lyrics for Jon Hendricks' in Thelonious Monk's"In Walked Bud" (retitled "Jazz?") is an obvious mistake, though the band swings the arrangement with gusto. The originals are somewhere in between; they aren't particularly memorable yet shouldn't be rejected out of hand.

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