Karin Krog

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COMPOSERS: Karin Krog
LABELS: Grappa
ALBUM TITLE: Sweet Talker: The Best of Karin Krog
WORKS: Karin Krog
PERFORMER: Karin Krog (singer); John Surman, Archie Shep, Dexter Gordon (saxophone), plus various musicians
CATALOGUE NO: GRCD 4219 (Reissue 1963-2005)
Long before ECM broke the Nordic

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new wave onto the shores of modern

jazz there was Norwegian singer

Karin Krog. This aptly named

‘best of ’ compilation charts her

career from 1963, when Krog broke

through (in Norway at least) with

the strangely titled novelty song,

‘Sann Lager Man Pop-Plater’.

Perhaps best known for her

collaborations with John Surman,

Krog’s silky, sweet vocal stylings have

fronted for many of the music’s great

soloists including Dexter Gordon

and Warne Marsh. Typical standout

tracks here include ‘Soul Eyes’ with

tenorist Archie Shepp and ‘Lester’s

Happy’ with bassist Red Mitchell.

Despite some glitzy arrangements

and schmaltzy material, Krog’s voice

is always beguiling here. And behind

the insouciant delivery is a brilliant

musical mind, with a devilish sense

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of timing. Garry Booth