Get this crazy baby off my head!


Sara Isaksson & Rebecka Törnqvist (Steely Dan Related)

Sara Isaksson & Rebecka Törnqvist- Fire In The Hole Sara Isaksson & Rebecka Törnqvist Sing Steely Dan - 2006 - Moule Recordings

I've always thought the tradition in jazz, to do covers of standards, is strange. It's like the performance is everything and the song writing means nothing. Ok, only a few artists are gifted enough to both be a song writer and performer. This is why I was happy to hear that these two Swedish jazz singers were doing a album with Steely Dan covers. Not only is this a fresh change in the song material, it is also a statement on the value of good songs. To me, Steely Dan is not jazz. However, the interpretations on this album sound quite natural. It's mostly two voices and a piano. It's definitely a jazz take, maybe not a typical one though. The production is so basic you could easily mistake this for a demo. Small gestures. I like their performance, and the straight-on style. Being a Steely Dan fan, I miss some of the sound quality and the intellectual touch of the originals. This cover album does not have that typical SD groove - but then again, it was probably never the idea. The focus is on the songs and everything else is secondary. © erikb 2007-02-24 http://boralv.se/blog/?id=1172337442

A labour of love ended up a CD released on their own label. Neither Sara nor Rebecka are hardcore fans of Steely Dan, and perhaps that helped them break away from the polished Steely Dan sound and go for simple piano and vocals arrangements. They wanted the songs, the music and the lyrics to take centre stage and - in the process - perhaps help people discover the beauty in the compositions. And it works. What we get is 12 tracks that add another dimension to the songs for a Steely Dan fan like myself, and hopefully open up a few pairs of ears previously shut to the talents of Fagen & Becker as well as Isaksson & Törnqvist. © N.S. © www.pergunnareriksson.se/cover57.htm

One website pointed out that "An album with two middle-aged women who sit by a piano and sing 30 year old Steely Dan songs is, on paper, a hopelessly uncommercial idea". Don't let the album pic fool you. Rebecka was born in 1964 and Sara in 1971. On the cover, their photos are replaced with a picture of two unknown women by Maine, USA photographer/artist Melanie West. This is obviously an idea borrowed from Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, themselves, who were once averse to letting their images appear on official studio recordings. This is an incredibly good album of Steely Dan covers. There have been many interpretations of Steely Dan compositions. Most of them have been a failure, as the complex song structures and jazz chord changes have just not been covered adequately on most of Becker & Fagens unique compositions. A notable exception would be "The Justin Morrell Quintet Plays The Music of Steely Dan", an instrumental jazz album that stretches the limits of Becker & Fagens songs in a jazz context. However, Sara Isaksson & Rebecka Törnqvist have done the seemingly impossible, and covered twelve Dan songs brilliantly. The vocals are so good, and it seems that their "simple on the surface" piano arrangements have done what few artists have been able to do, and given these classic songs a satisfactory interpretation. A stunning album, and VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Sara and Rebecka said that "We've recorded twelve songs of the American duo, mainly using just piano and vocals. As a contrast to the originals, we wanted it as simple as possible, to focus on the songs fantastic stories and melodies." This album has been previously posted on this blog at a lower bitrate. The post here is @ 320 Kbps. Buy Rebecka Törnqvist's brilliant 1996 pop jazz album, "A Night Like This." She is virtually unknown outside Sweden, but if more people heard albums like "A Night Like This," the lady would be world famous! She deserves more recognition. Also try and track down the 2002 album, “Anders Widmark featuring Sara Isaksson." He also has an album released called "Pool of Happiness," which again features Sara Isaksson, and is well worth listening to. Anders Widmark is a great Swedish pianist who has recorded many albums featuring blues, jazz, hip hop and classical piano. Check out his back catalogue. Give these artists the fame they deserve! [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 84.4 Mb]


1 Rose Darling
2 Barrytown
3 Gaucho
4 Green Earrings
5 Your Gold Teeth
6 Brooklyn (Owes The Charmer Under Me)
7 Don't Take Me Alive
8 Josie
9 Do It Again
10 Fire In The Hole
11 Pearl Of The Quarter
12 Midnite Cruiser

All compositions by Walter Becker & Donald Fagen except "Gaucho" by Donald Fagen, Walter Becker & Keith Jarrett


Lars Halapi - Guitar on Tracks: 5, 7, 8, 9, 12: Bass on Tracks 1, 7, 8, 9, 12: Vibraphone on Track 10: Autoharp on Track 3: Bass Drum on Track 6
Per 'Texas' Johansson - Saxophone & Oboe on Track 10
Sara Isaksson - Vocals
Rebecka Törnqvist - Vocals, Piano, Synth.


Rebecka Törnqvist was born in the university town Uppsala, north of the Swedish capital Stockholm. Daughter of a journalist/teacher mother and physicist/musician father, Törnqvist spent parts of her childhood in Lesotho and Kenya before returning home to boarding school. She began writing songs at the age of five and a few years later moved onto confiscating the family radio in the dead of night to record music from Radio Luxemburg and other foreign stations. Alongside classical and East African music and the songs of Alice Tégner it was pop music, which kept Törnqvist company and provided respite as the family uprooted itself at regular intervals. In 1993, the strongly jazz-derived debut album “A Night Like This” was released to critical and unexpected commercial success. The following album “Good Thing” played extensively on the radio and propelled Törnqvist onto the continental and Japanese markets. The collaboration with the Grammy Award-winning musician Per “Texas” Johansson led to the album ”The Stockholm Kaza Session”. It was produced on the Kaza label that Törnqvist had created with Kjell Andersson, legendary A&R at EMI. ”Tremble My Heart” (1998) was a milestone in Törnqvists work as she considers it to be her first “own” album, marking a change in her composing and of musical concept.. Pål Svenre remained as producer while Johan Lindström entered as arranger och guitarist. The collaboration with Lindström had great impact on Törnqvists music making, and 2006 he produced ”Melting Into Orange”, followed by ”The Cherry Blossom And the Skyline Rising from the Street” 2008. Earlier Törnqvist had joined forces with Sara Isaksson as singers in the new group “Gloria”. The song “Party On My Own” became a minor hit from the first album. Isaksson and Törnqvist returned as a duo a few years later to produce “Fire In The Hole”, acoustic interpretations of Steely Dan’s music. In 2006 Törnqvist worked with producer Jari Haapalainen on her contribution to the Olle Adolphson-homage album “Dubbeltrubbel”. Thoughts of a future and more extensive collaboration took hold and has now come to fruition with the upcoming album “Scorpions”. Törnqvist lives in the countryside where she is torn between her cosmopolitan yearnings and her gardening hermit romanticism. © http://www.rebeckatornqvist.se/me


Sara Isaksson is a Swedish vocalist who made her solo album debut in 1995 but was most successful in later years in collaboration with others, in particular Rebecka Törnqvist and Anders Widmark. Born on February 19, 1971, she made her solo album debut in 1995 with Red Eden, an English-language country-rock album released on MCA. The album was a moderate hit, reaching number 24 on the Swedish albums chart and spawning the single "May." Follow-up album Walking Through and By (1996) and its accompanying single, "Shifting Dream," were less successful, however, and Isaksson's solo tenure on MCA came to a close. In subsequent years she found work as a backup vocalist on a variety of projects. More notably, she joined the band Gloria, in which she sang alongside jazz-pop vocalist Törnqvist. The band released two albums, Gloria (1999) and People Like You and Me (2003), the first of which reached number 13 on the Swedish albums chart, the latter number 26. In 2006 Isaksson and Törnqvist teamed up as a vocal duo for the release of Fire in the Hole, an album of Steely Dan covers that was fairly popular, reaching the Top 30. Meanwhile, Isaksson also collaborated with pianist Widmark on the albums Anders Widmark Featuring Sara Isaksson (2002) and Pool of Happiness (2008), the latter of which was a Top Ten hit. © Jason Birchmeier © 2011 Answers Corporation http://www.answers.com/topic/sara-isaksson


A.O.O.F.C said...


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