Barb Jungr's Hard Rain Wins Broadway World Award
Barb Jungr's Hard Rain Wins 2014 BroadwayWorld Cabaret Award "Best CD Release"
Britain's Barb Jungr was also named a "Best CD Release" winner for Hard Rain (produced and co-arranged by Simon Wallace for Kristalyn Records), her collection of intense interpretations of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen songs. The disc has garnered universal praise in the Great Britain arts press. The Independent wrote: "It's a master class in the value of interpretive liberty, with songs transformed in almost revelatory manner. As with the album generally, its a subtle balance of hot and cold, a work of fiery cool." The website All About Jazz said that Jungr's readings of the Dylan songs, "Reaffirm Jungr's standing as a Dylan interpreter. In no way does it detract from her abilities as a Dylan interpreter to say that the revelation of Hard Rain is that her versions of the Cohen songs all but steal the album. As an album, it is the equal of Jungr's two all-Dylan ones but, more importantly, it opens up a rich new seam for her to mine." Jungr performed many of the Hard Rain cuts, along with other Dylan and Cohen classics, this past November at the East Side NYC theater 59E59. Her previous show at 59E59, Dancing In the Dark (performed last December) received a 2014 BWW Award nomination for "Best Show, Female.
What The Press Is Saying About
Barb Jungr "Hard Rain"
The songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen
The Daily Mirror 4 stars
"Jungr proved one of the greatest interpreters of Bob Dylan songs with two previous cover albums from his awesome songbook. This time, two towering masters of Jewish American song provide the raw material for Barb's rich voice and finely details jazzy arrangements. A notable achievement."
All About Jazz march 14 2014
"The readings of these Dylan songs reaffirm Jungr's standing as a Dylan interpreter; her loose, easy version of "Chimes of Freedom"—made famous as a hit byThe Byrds—emphasises that Jungr rivals the group as one of the best. In no way does it detract from her abilities as a Dylan interpreter to say that the revelation of Hard Rain is that her versions of the Cohen songs all but steal the album. As an album, it is the equal of Jungr's two all-Dylan ones but, more importantly, it opens up a rich new seam for her to mine. More!!"
The Independent 4 stars
"It's a masterclass in the value of interpretive liberty, with songs transform in almost revelatory manner. As with the album generally, its a subtle balance of hot and cold, a work of fiery cool."
Jazzwise 4 stars
"Investing everything she sings with telling insight, Jungr's complete affinity with the material lends the collection a galvanising power. There are lyrical jewels a plenty."
R2 4 stars
"Barb Jungr affirms her reputation as a consummate Dylan interpreter with a collection of Bob's political and spiritual narratives augmented here by similar matieral from the pen of his contemporary, Leonard Cohen…nourish jazz bues arrangemtns compound her ethereal impressionism. Its quite some achievement to throw new light on these old tableaux."
"The commanding and rhapsodic singing brings connection and insight while superlative arrangements - majoring in opulent blues jazz noir settings, refresh songs as daunting as "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" and "First We Take Manhattan". To give such standards precious new life is quite an achievement."
"Once again, the British singer finds new paths through what, at first glance, might seem familiar material. 1000 Kisses Deep is simply heart-stopping. Jungr's attention to timbre and nuance brings new depth to every syllable."
MOJO 3 stars
"As an interpreter, Jungr's ace in the hole is an ability to personalise even age-old familiars like Blowin' In The Wind without resorting to deconstruct mode. First We Take Manhattan is beautifully reworked, with Jungr draping a delicate vocal line over Simon Wallace's piano back-drop of a kind that Gil Evans might have visualised for Miles. Fascinating Fare…it's more than alright, Ma." (Fred Dellar)
"Jungr has the ability to take a well known song and make it her own. This is a knockout album."
Barb Jungr has a powerful tool in the box — and that is her voice. Combine this with the powerful songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and a group of good musicians, and you have something which has the potential to blow your mind. So, Barb sets high expectations and this album does not disappoint. Hard Rain is a great album, one in which to immerse yourself until you are soaked through.
For Folk's Sake
...there's no questioning the artistry of this rarest of things: a deeply challenging covers album.
British vocalist Barb Jungr has never been known to play it safe. Her previous recordings have revealed an iconoclastic singer with little fear of any material. She has an affinity for Bob Dylan as seen in her two previous collections of Dylan songs, Every Grain of Sand (Linn, 2002) and Man in the Long Black Coat (Linn, 2011). On Hard Rain Jungr adds Leonard Cohen to her Dylan oeuvre, a pairing that contrasts the two different song writers, while, at the same time, demonstrating the social source of their music. A musical vision this refined and challenging comes rarely. Barb Jungr has been and will continue to be a creative force to reckon with, and aren't we fortunate for it.
C. MICHAEL BAILEY
CULTURE NORTHERN IRELAND
"what Jungr really is is an exceptional interpreter of popular songs, with a dramatic, sometimes theatrical style and a remarkable technique.
Her interpretive skills are thrillingly apparent on her current album, Hard Rain, on which she sings six songs by Bob Dylan and five by Leonard Cohen." (Trevor Hodgett)
THE ART OF THE TORCH SINGER
"She has earned her place at the top table of influential singers, and it is bewildering that an appearance on the only popular music programme on British terrestrial television continues to elude her. If Hard Rain doesn't earn her a place in the line-up for the current series of Later… With Jools Holland, someone is missing a vital link."
Barb Jungr Live Hard Rain Dean St Jazz Club Soho -
"Jungr always brings exceptional freshness to her shows, not to mention unexpected harmonica choruses with pianist Simon Wallace and bassist Dudley Philips. Admirably vivacious even at the end of a 19 - date tour, she put total immersion into the songs and kept the audience enrapt."
KEN FRANCKLING JAZZ NOTES
Barb Jungr, Hard Rain (Kristalyn)
At a time when far too many jazz singers seem addicted to the most tired tunes in the Great American Songbook, London-based Barb Jungr has settled on a very different range of material. She is in love with the often-political works of musical bards Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen is a gem. This is excellent.
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
The performances more than validate Jungr's reputation as one of Britain's finest interpretative singers, with particularly impressive versions of Cohen'sFirst We Take Manhattan and Dylan's Masters of War. There are two remarkable achievements here: Blowin' in the Wind, which Dylan wrote in 1962 and which opens the album, sounds fresh; the album also offers the second, truly great reinterpretation of Chimes of Freedom.
THE SENSE OF DOUBT - live review The Arts Depot, North London
When an artist like Barb Jungr – an obsessive studious of admirable story tellers – takes the fearless responsibility of reinterpreting “some of the least compassionate songs by Cohen and the most compassionate by Dylan” with a mesmerizing voice; the hymns gain both clarity and depth. The words and vision of our heroes reborn with magnificence and their comprehension, intellect and importance rises. This is Barb Jungr´s mission. A truly touching duty on stage that becomes an experience of intellectual contemplation.
To see Barb Jungr performance at the Arts Depot – a cultural hub in North Finchley – brought me to a state of inexplicable and intangible nostalgia or what in Portuguese called, Saudade. Just think in the greats: Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, Sam Cooke, Nina Simone, Roy Orbison, Billie Holiday, Roberta Flack, Ella Fitzgerald and an infinite etcetera. When a true artist stands in front of an audience at its most vulnerable with nothing but the unpredictable possibilities of the voice, something magical happens. When they are truly exposed to the eyes of the public in a small venue with nothing to offer but their vocal chords, is when popular music becomes more valuable.
BARB JUNGR Hard Rain (Kristalyn Records) Albums Widely regarded as one of the finest interpreters of other people’s songs, Jungr’s new album features six Dylan and five Leonard Cohen tracks. It is a mesmerising tour de force focusing on some of the most political songs written by the two legends. 9/10
CD Review: http://www.acousticmusic.com/fame/p09555.htm
"I guarantee that once you step out of your reverie as the CD ends, you'll be hunting for more. Hard Rain doesn't just satisfy the senses and brainworks, it also installs a hunger." (Mark S Tucker)
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