Laila Dalseth

Travelling Light

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AllMusic Review by

Cut a few days after the First Oslo Jazz Concert in August of 1986, this was an album conceived and recorded on the spur of the moment. Originally, the plan was to do an album featuring Al Cohn and Dalseth's husband, Totti Bergh. After Cohn heard Dalseth sing at the festival, Bergh was dropped, and it became Dalseth's album with Cohn's backing. Cohn's solos are masterful, especially his obbligatos, which contrast nicely with Dalseth's smoky voice. These two masters of their respective instruments, the tenor sax and the voice, gel as they revisit classics from the great American songbook. Together they breathe new life into such oft-recorded standards as "Stella By Starlight," "I'll Remember You," and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered." "All the Things You Are" is kicked off in a swinging style, with the quartet taking the first chorus, Cohn the next, and Dalseth cleaning up the rest. Dalseth recalls Sarah Vaughan with her version of "Little Man, You Had a Busy Day." Cohn and Dalseth share performing honors with Egil Kapstad, who solos on every tune, sometimes emulating Bill Evans, other times Bud Powell, and then Jimmy Rowles when playing behind Dalseth. For Dalseth, the sound, phrasing, and inflection are all there, a considerable feat for a person whose native language is Norwegian. The only glitch on this album is a nonmusical one: "Traveling" in the album title was misspelled by someone on Gemini's layout crew.

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