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Shelter from The Storm

CD REVIEWS: Shelter From The Storm - Songs Of Hope For Troubled Times

Jazz Times review of Shelter From The Storm

"What matters is the exquisite quality of the work... its immense value heightened by three Jungr/Hobgood originals, including an astute nod to Nina Simone."

Read full review

Telegraph****

Barb Jungr proves she's a genuine jazz marvel

Ivan Hewett finds the brilliant jazz singer on world-beating form

Barb Jungr is the alchemist among jazz singers. She takes dubious songs, and turns them into gold. And she takes songs we already knew were gold, and makes them interestingly different.

That gift was on electrifying display on Wednesday night, at the launch of her new album Shelter from the Storm. Jungr’s previous nine albums, which include reinventions of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, have lofted her slowly but surely to the top rank of jazz singers. Her latest roams across the great American songbook, with songs by Bacharach and Bernstein and Rodger alongside Joni Mitchell and Bowie and Bob Dylan. With her was Grammy award-winning piano virtuoso and ingenious arranger Laurence Hobgood, bassist Davide Mantovani and percussionist Olli Savill.

Jungr swept on and launched off into a song about an imaginary foggy island, conjuring up its presence in the distance. Being a great walker and inveterate traveller, she likes songs that conjure great vistas, which she makes us see in our minds eye with big sweeping gestures. Then we were off into a song in beguine rhythm which seemed weirdly familiar. It took some time to realise it was Richard Rodgers’s kitschy fantasy Bali Hai, from South Pacific. Jungr delivered it with a saucy, tongue-in-cheek relish, which almost rescued it.

But maybe it wasn’t the best place to start, and Hobgood’s new song Stars Lazy but Shining, one of three on words by Jungr, was not the most inspired (the one we heard later, inspired by the death of Nina Simone, was much stronger). The evening really caught fire with Bob Dylan’s Shelter from the Storm. It’s a difficult song to bring off with its endless procession of verses, each more grandiloquent than the last. Jungr and Hobgood did it partly by an unexpected gear-change to a driving rock rhythm. By the end, it had grown to something tremendous.

No doubt about it, Jungr can summon a fabulous bluesy energy, and that rooted, deep quality can be felt in her luscious pianissimo too. You wouldn’t think those qualities could be applied to the weirdness of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, but Jungr cleverly managed to meet the song half-way, thanks partly to Hobgood and Savill’s ingenious recolourings. To bring the same magic to Burt Bacharach’s What the World Needs Now shows just how intelligent a singer she is. She is truly a marvel, who should not be missed.

Barb Jungr’s album Shelter from the Storm is out now on Linn.

Tour details here

Jazzwise ****

Vocalist Barb Jungr pulls off quite a coup on her ninth album for Linn, securing the services of Kurt Elling's erstwhile pianist and arranger, Laurence Hopgood. Subtitled Songs Of Hope For Troubled Times, Jungr captures the longing at the heart of album opener 'Bali Hai' to moving effect.

Especially noted for her interpretations of Dylan and Cohen, it comes as no surprise that 'Shelter From The Storm' and 'Sisters of Mercy' are both standouts. Full of subtle reharmonisations, metrical shifts, and the contrasting (occasionally layered) timbres of acoustic and electric pianos - and even some atmospheric whistling on 'All Along The Watchtower/In Your Eyes' - Hobgood's arrangements are outstanding, serving to cast the material in an entirely new light. Olatuja and Torres complete the always empathetic quartet.

The album includes a trio of urbane originals penned by Jungr and Hobgood, of which 'Venus Rising' lingers longest in the memory. The swinging version of 'Life On Mars' which closes the door on this fine album possesses a special poignancy. Peter Quinn

Sunday Times - Feb 21, 2016

The thinking person’s cabaret singer edges closer towards jazz, teaming up with the American pianist Laurence Hobgood, best known as chief collaborator with the even more cerebral Kurt Elling. The bassist Michael Olatuja and the percussionist Wilson Torres complete a sleek line-up. Just about the best Dylan interpreter around, Jungr dissects the title song against a McCoy Tyner-ish backdrop. West Side Story’s Something’s Coming is slyly funky, and there’s a skittish waltz on Bowie’s Life on Mars. Stars Lazy but Shining is the pick of the originals. Clive Davis

R2 ****

Barb Jungr’s superb new album, which features, amongst others, the great American jazz pianist Laurence Hobgood, is subtitled Songs of Hope for Troubled Times. The times be troubled indeed but many of the songs, rather than straightforwardly offering hope, are distinctly – and satisfyingly – ambiguous. Rodgers and HammerStein’s Bali Hai, for example, one of two songs from the Great American SongBook, holds out the promise of a paradise–on–earth but surely has a melancholic subtext; Bob Dylan’s Shelter From The Storm initially seems to testify to the redemptive power of love but the lyrics finally convey regret at the failure of the relationship alluded to; and on Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock the music joltingly undermines the lyric’s optimism.

And, never mind ambiguity, some of the songs are downright pessimistic. Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower is surely full of dread while, although the meaning of David Bowie's peculiar, dizzyingly allusive Life On Mars is obscure, it's hard to detect anything positive in the lyrics.

So, Jungr may not provide much of the promised hope but, characteristically, she sings with enormous intellectual and emotional clarity on a marvellously eclectic repertoire which also includes three literate originals. Trevor Hodgett

All About Jazz

Barb Jungr's art makes a grand argument for her being the most innovative singer in jazz since Cassandra Wilson. She has single-handedly emerged as the principle momentum behind expanding the "Standards Songbook" forward in time to include the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie. Her previous recording, Hard Rain (Linn, 2014) was a revelation in the music of Dylan and Cohen, released after her very well received Every Grain of Dand (Linn, 2002). She has shown herself a smart collector of her repertoire and instrumental in the unique arrangements she employs. On Barb Jungr: Shelter from the Storm—Songs of Hope for Troubled Times, Jungr taps the resources of pianist (and Kurt Elling accompanist) Laurence Hobgood, in a simple jazz piano trio format to address another batch of Dylan and Cohen songs with David Bowie, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Bernstein and Sondheim, and Joni Mitchell thrown in. Hobgood does the arranging duties, imbuing the music with a certain dramatic pathos that drives like some divine momentum as a remnant through the collection. The title piece is presented as a complex tone poem that evolves from a simple presentation to a complex and demanding ending. The mashup of "All Along the Watchtower" with Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" is inspired and intelligent. A fine effort by all. C. Michael Bailey - All About Jazz

Kind of Jazz

“But my favourite was All Along The Watchtower, which she sings to the melody of Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes. It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it does, and yet again, she succeeds in making the song her own.

Stars Lazy But Shining is a straight-ahead jazz tune, and could easily pass for a classic from the American songbook,

Hymn To Nina, as the name suggests, is a heartfelt tribute to Nina Simone, and is the pick of the bunch – all the more effective because Jungr does not try to mimic Simone’s unique style, but sings about what Nina meant to her.” Matthew Ruddick

Full review here

AXS Review - July 2017

World Music Report - April 2016

Jazz Weekly USA - April 2016

adrianspecs.blogspot.co.uk

The Crack - Feb 2016

Barb Jungr has firmly established herself as one of the UK’s foremost jazz vocalists and on her new studio album she’s teamed up with one of the US’s finest progressive and contemporary jazz pianists, Laurence Hobgood. The pair have crafted three new songs (which are well worth the admission alone), but the bulk of the album is taken up by the likes of Dylan (including a fabulous Shelter from the Storm), Cohen, Springsteen, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Bowie. Wonderful. (GM)

Boycotting Trends

Each track is given its own highly distinctive identity, yet the album feels entirely cohesive, with Hobgood’s fresh, supple and sometimes boldly idiosyncratic arrangements often stretching the songs into delectable jazz jams. The vibe is spare yet textured; all the material, however familiar, feels new-minted; and there are fresh elements to notice with every play of the disc.

The live arena is, of course, Jungr’s natural habit, the place where, in an intimate cabaret setting, all aspects of her artistry combine through masterful vocal delivery, distinctive gestures and expressions, story-telling, and audience interaction. However, while Jungr’s power as a performer may be strongly linked to the experience of seeing her live and “in motion”, Shelter From the Storm succeeds in doing justice to her multifaceted musicianship through vocals alone.

Through her passionate, sensitive and intelligent reinterpretations, Jungr continues to ensure that the work of many artists “lives on” in vibrant and re-energised ways. Building connections across material, making old songs new again, “bringing soul and song to everything,” Shelter From the Storm stands as further testament to Jungr's ever-evolving powers as a performer. Be sure to catch her and Hobgood tour the album in the UK in March and April and in the US in May. Alex Ramon

Full review here

Midwest Record

BARB JUNGR/Shelter From the Storm: As always, Jungr doesn’t give you what you expect. Varying from her format of single songwriter tribute sets, this time out she’s giving her all to ‘songs of hope for troubled times’ serving up a set card that doesn’t have a single bridge over troubled water in the lot. Although there are other players on board, this is mostly a face off between her and Laurence Hobgood where he gets to turn up the drama in ways he never could backing up Kurt Elling. Jungr will always be an art chick to the core and that’s what gives her the umph to align Rodgers & Hammerstein with Joni Mitchell with David Bowie. Another winning set for the cabaret crew on Mars.

Record Collector Magazine - “Haunting and eclectic collection.”

The Examiner Feb 2nd 2016 - Preview/interview

Jazz Views - CD review

CD REVIEWS: Hard Rain: The songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen

Barb Jungr wins Broadway World’s Cabaret Award for Hard Rain

Read about the win here - www.examiner.com

The Independent - Hard Rain live review *****

The Times - Hard Rain live review *****

The Daily Mirror - Hard Rain album review *****

The Independent - Hard Rain album review *****

I Paper - Hard Rain album review *****

Jazzwise - Hard Rain album review *****

R2 - album review *****

London Evening Standard - album review *****

Blogcritics - album review

Sound Stage Experience - album review *****

O's Jazz Place Magazine *****

8/10 Uncut - Hard Rain album review

9/10 Peterborough Today

The Daily Mirror ****

"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 by The 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 ****

"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 ****

"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 ****

"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."

Uncut 8/10

"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."

Sunday Times

"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 ***

"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)

Folking

"Jungr has the ability to take a well known song and make it her own. This is a knockout album."

Something Else

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.

UNCUT April 2014

BARB JUNGR Hard Rain,The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen

8/10

Peerless interpreter's takes on Bob and Len's protest sides

On her two previous albums of Dylan material Jungr gave a masterclass in understanding and inhabiting a songwriter's work. These versions of politically and spiritually engaged standards by the maestros shows both her authority and sensitivity have deepened. The commanding and rhapsodic singing brings connection and insight while superlative arrangements - majoring in opulent blues jazz noir settinp - 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 some achievement. Gavin Martin

BLUES MATTERS Mar 28th, 2014 issue

BARB JUNGR Hard Rain,The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen

It is always a brave project to do a covers album of any kind without sounding like karaoke versions, tribute bands and the likes, so when this arrived and saw it was Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen standards, reviewing this was always going to be a challenge, but like any forms of music it is always good to hear differing interpretations of classic tunes. This however is one release that different can be very good which this release is. Barb Jungr is known for being one of the best female performers of Bob Dylan material and certainly is a wonderful singer with great tone and smooth jazzy voice which especially goes well with First We Take Manhattan. The songs are very strongly interspersed with political stances especially noted in the six titles by Bob Dylan with Masters Of War being a particular haunting melody and very gritty interpretation and sneering vocals but set to a slow seductive style, an ongoing feel to this release. It is also interesting she has arranged every song herself and obviously self-confident to do justice to such songs as, Blowin’ In The Wind and Hard Rain. Ably assisted by Simon Wallace on piano, Hammond organ and synthesiser, who also produced this collaboration and with a consummate backing band, this all adds to a hypnotic lilt and a wholly unforgettable release, brilliant.

www.midwestrecord.com

BARB JUNGR Hard Rain,The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen

BARB JUNGR/Hard Rain: One of the leading, contemporary interpreters of Dylan widens the lens here with a set that covers Dylan and Leonard Cohen, two of the greatest kvetches of a generation. What happens when you turn a cabaret artist that can be known for the tortured artist effect loose on these two all star schmageggees? Amazingly, she never let’s you get to the point of wanting to gargle with razor blades. The jazzy backing behind her gives these songs a buoyancy they’ve never shown in previous incarnations, and while she does bring a world weary edge to her vocals, Jungr seems to find hope in the shards of despair. Might just be that we’re so far away from the source of these songs that they are now everybody’s songs and not just Dylan’s and Cohen’s. If you have a soft spot for these two icons, Jungr does an amazing job of making these songs her own and not letting you down. This is a set of covers you’d be a fool to ignore if your into it at all. Check it out. (CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher)

Web links

AXS - Top 15 jazzy vocal albums of 2014: Get ‘em while they’re hot!

Jazz Weekly

Pop Culture Classics

Kind Of Jazz

San Diego Reader

Classicalight

Acoustic Music

Paul L Martin's Cabaret Blog

London Evening Standard

All About Jazz

South China Morning Post

The Fine Time Recorder

SoundStage! Xperience

Culture Northern Ireland

The Sense Of Doubt

Something Else! Interview

BlogCritics

The Art Of The Torch singer

Huffington Post

Audiophile Edition

Adrian Specs

Broadway World

Classicalite

Girl Singers

The Sense of Doubt

Women Talking: Interview

Female First: Interview

Folking

The Telegraph: Interview

Something Else Reviews

Write on Music: Interview

For Folk's Sake

Bman's Blues Report

Specs

Mark O'Connell

Beige: Interview

Spiralearth

The Rocker

Press cuttings

MOJO

R2

Blues Matters

South China Morning Post

The Independent i - 21.3.14

The Independent Radar - 22.3.14

The Independent - 26.2.14

Jazzwise - April 2014

The Sunday Times Culture - 16.3.14

Uncut - April 2014

CD REVIEWS: Stockport to Memphis

The Telegraph 15 December 2012

Barb Jungr's Stockport to Memphis is a "favourite jazz vocal album of the year" for Ivan Hewitt - press clipping »

Huffington Post - Read review »

Art of the Torch Singer - Read review »

Blues In The Northwest - December 2012 - Read review »

Hi Fi Choice - 5 stars - read review »

Mojo - December 2012 - read review »

Blues News - October 2012 - read review »

Barb Jungr - Stockport to Memphis

FATEA Nov 2012

As a vocalist, Barb Jungr is difficult to classify. Variously described as a chansonniere, a cabaret singer, a musical theatre lyricist and composer, a jazz and blues singer, on this album she also reveals herself as a soul diva, soft-gospel singer and mean player of the blues harp! This is not a jazz album - but her singing style is invariably coloured by jazz intonation, improvised phrasing and effortless note bending, as she sings her way through a set of soul, rock and country standards and self-penned songs. The tunes are given coherence by the album's autobiographical thread, as Jungr takes a "metaphorical journey" from her Cheshire birthplace to Memphis (where she has never actually been, but which was the source of her teenage musical influences!). Her own five compositions provide the bones of this journey, whilst the covers add flesh and colour to the tale.

Barb's singing style is very English, with a clear intonation and precise diction, which means that sometimes she sounds rather prim and soulless, especially on Sam Cooke's 'Change is Gonna Come' or Joni Mitchell's 'River' (think Joan Biaz singing soul!). But don't let this put you off - Jungr's readings of these and other songs reveal depths of meaning and emotion that other versions of these tunes often submerge in production! Jungr's vocal range is considerable; though she may be losing some of the top end with age, and struggles with the low notes on 'S(he's) Not There', she deploys her vocal skills with enormous effect. Mike Scott's 'Fisherman Blues' is given a warm-toned and soulful treatment, with excellent piano from producer Simon Wallace. Barb's own 'Till My Broken Heart Begins to Mend' is a bluesy pop tune complete with swirling organ, gutsy harmonica, pizzicato strings and a sixties-style backing group. Hank William's 'Lost on the River' becomes a gently gospel solo with just piano accompaniment. It is followed by an equally soul-inspired arrangement of Tom Waits' 'Way Down in the Hole', which plays the song as a soft, jazzy gospel number with just piano and mallets on drums. This forms the rather sombre and low-key climax of Barb's journey, and forms an interesting contrast with the sixties R'n'b of the opening title track, making the whole story of this album even more poignant and thought-provoking.

Overall, then, this is an intriguing and frequently engaging album, with stand out tracks being Neil Young's 'Old Man', 'River' and Jungr's own 'Urban Fox' and 'Till My Broken Heart ….'. With the understated and sensitive arrangements and brilliant use of the soul/jazz vocal backing trio of Mari Wilson, Ian Shaw and Sarah Moule, this is a class recording, which will appeal to all fans of straight vocal style.

Martin Price

Barb Jungr - Stockport to Memphis

Daily Telegraph 27.10.12 - Ivan Hewett

Some Jazz singers want to appear knowing and sophisticated. Barb Jungr isn't like that;she just wants to get to the heart of the song, and if it means wearing her own heart on her sleeve at times, that's just fine.

On this album she's included some of her own songs, which include the wonderfully earthy title track.

These are touching in there way, but it's the songs from Neil Young, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell and others which bring out the best in her.

ALL ABOUT JAZZ

Barb Jungr: Stockport to Memphis (2012)

By JOHN EYLES, Published: October 24, 2012

Since her breakthrough Chanson: The Space in Between (Linn, 2000), vocalist Barb Jungr has mainly released albums of songs by other people. Several have focused on the work of one performer, notablyEvery Grain of Sand (Linn, 2002), consisting of Bob Dylan songs, the Elvis Presley tribute Love Me Tender(Linn, 2005) and Just Like a Woman—A Hymn to Nina... Barb Jungr Sings Nina Simone (Linn, 2008). Others, such as The Men I Love: The New American Songbook (Naim, 2010), have been albums of Jungr's favorite contemporary songs.

Successful as those albums have been, collectively they have shifted the spotlight from Jungr's own songwriting, although a few of her post-2000 albums included Jungr compositions. On Stockport to Memphis, she tilts the balance back towards her compositions, while still featuring songs by her favorite songwriters. In the process, she has delivered an album that is more autobiographical and personal than any mentioned above.

There has long been a confessional, autobiographical element to Jungr's between-song chats to live audiences. Here, songs such as "Stockport to Memphis" and "New Life" reflect that side of her, focusing on her family history as well as capturing the excitement and vulnerability of a young woman leaving home. The lyrics of "New Life" eloquently convey that:

"When I waved goodbye to Stockport with a pirouette and song and I took the bus to Manchester and danced the whole night long Bought a ticket into Euston, said goodbye to everyone and my heart was set on Beale Street and a new life had begun."

Accompanied by Mark Armstrong's muted trumpet, with a brief Simon Wallace piano solo, the track is exquisitely nostalgic.

Compared to those two songs, the album's other Jungr compositions evoke strong emotions just as well, although they do not have their autobiographical detail. So, "Urban Fox"—about the animal of the title—works at two levels, one literal, and one metaphorical. "Till My Broken Heart Begins to Mend," with fine harmonica from Jungr herself, does justice to the song's title.

As ever, Jungr's voice, phrasing and emphasis nail the essence of each song, making its meaning felt as much as heard. This is as true on others' songs as on her own. Of course, the album includes a Dylan song—"Lay Lady Lay," this time around given a tender reading with the entire band in top form, notably Wallace on atmospheric Hammond organ. Two other songs—Joni Mitchell's "River" and Hank Williams' "Lost on the River"—were key parts of Jungr's River set which she toured in 2010-11; both are superbly performed, benefitting from having been honed in front of live audiences. Other highlights—in an album full of them—include The Zombies classic "(S)he's Not There," given a subtle gender change, and Neil Young's "Old Man," which Jungr (born 1954) says she now appreciates more from the viewpoint of its subject than its writer. As this album demonstrates, she is maturing like fine wine.

www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=43160#.UIemn2l27GI

Barb Jungr - Stockport to Memphis

London Jazz October 24th, 2012

(Naim naimcd179. CD Review by Chris Parker)

Barb Jungr has always been celebrated as one of the jazz world’s most skilful and accomplished song-interpreters, burnishing everything from Ray Davies’s ‘Waterloo Sunset’ to the Monkees’ ‘Last Train to Clarksville’ to their original pristine glow courtesy of her scrupulous attention to their subtlest nuance. She is perhaps less famous for her own songwriting, however, so this album, which contains four songs Jungr has co-written with pianist Simon Wallace, is particularly welcome.

The feisty title-track is both a perfect opener and a succinct and witty summing up of Jungr’s musical journey (see this YOU TUBE CLIP for a fascinating first-hand account), and her other originals are similarly affecting, more than worthy of taking their place alongside such established classics as Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ (here given a typically sensitive reading emphasising the painful nature of the wait as much as the determined anticipation of change), Neil Young’s touching ‘Old Man’, Dylan’s ‘Lay Lady Lay’, Joni Mitchell’s wistful, self-deprecating ‘River’ et al.

Featuring a supremely adaptable, sparky band (including drummer Rod Youngs, bassist Neville Malcolm and stellar background vocalists Sarah Moule and Ian Shaw), and intelligently programmed so that the whole can be experienced like a carefully prepared live set, this is a wholly enjoyable album, immediately accessible but thoughtful and considered enough to richly reward repeated listening.

londonjazz.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/cd-review-barb-jungr-stockport-to.html

Barb Jungr

Stockport to Memphis

Naim jazz ****

People who like and even love jazz, despite what a few purists think, actually like other music “as well as” the word with four letters rather than, in curmudgeon-speak, “instead of” it, as if they’re giving up being a member of a club that they don’t actually have to be a member of in the first place. Well, Barb Jungr is a singer who many jazz people really like and work with, and it’s not at all surprising as there is an integrity, musicality and liveliness about what she does although she couldn’t really be called a jazz singer, her music just runs parallel to it. She can take the odd wrong turn though and I personally did not warm much to her Dylan or Elvis albums, but completely agree that her forte is in chanson or related material of which she is a subtle and knowledgeable interpreter. Certainly, she has a strong reputation in this area, but her eclecticism I suppose means that people who like her approach dip in and out depending on the angle she chooses for her latest project.

Produced by pianist Simon Wallace who also performs on the album and a collective personnel of Rod Youngs on drums, Neville Malcolm double bass, Jenny Carr, piano, Natalie Rozario cello, backing vocals from Mari Wilson, Ian Shaw and Sarah Moule, Gary Hammond percussion, Mark Armstrong trumpet, and Roddy Matthews guitar, there is a broad selection of well known songs presented here with five originals Barb has co-written, including the title track partly referencing the town she grew up in, although the Memphis bit is a little more complicated but all is explained in the title song.

These days when it’s fashionable for singers to project at the tops of their voices it’s refreshing to hear a singer who doesn’t sing as if she’s yelling to quell the racket all the drinkers at the bar might be making. OK, the downside might be it can be too cosy, but that’s not really Jungr’s way. ‘River’ for instance is very unJoni-like, and sometimes on whatever the material she chooses the approach of someone like Sandy Denny springs to mind instead as a sort of benign presence.

Jungr’s strength is the way she narrates a song, gently leading you in for a fulfilling dialogue in song, maybe involving, maybe not; autobiographical perhaps, like ‘New Life’, or more out on a limb as on the passionate ‘Fisherman’s Blues’, the best cover song on the album for me because of the light and shade, and the way she loses herself in the material.

Other songs include Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’, Dylan’s ‘Lay Lady Lay’, Hank Williams’ ‘Lost on the River’, but it’s the new songs that are interesting as well, particularly ‘Urban Fox’, a wonderful metaphorical lyric, and quietly dark with it. A great late-night listen. Stephen Graham

http://marlbank.tumblr.com/post/32344116103/844

CD REVIEWS: The Man In The Long Black Coat

Barb Jungr: Man in the Long Black Coat

Nightlife Exchange, Sept 2012

nitelifeexchange.com

Barb Jungr: Man in the Long Black Coat; Durga Rising

Review on cry-me-a-torch-song.com

Record Collector - July 2011 *****

Barb Jungr has a new album devoted to the songs of Bob Dylan, Man In The Long Black Coat (*****Linn), celebrating Dylan's 70th birthday. A sympathetic and innovative interpreter of Dylan's work - principally because her own voice and delivery is unique - the CD includes four regular live tracks: Sara, Man In The Long Black Coat, It Aint Me Babe and With God On Our Side, which appear on a Jungr CD for the first time.

Approaching the songs as if they were all her own, the likes of Just Like A Woman is given a reggae/funk crossover, while those of a softer disposition may be drawn to a collection of Dylan songs that don't actually sound like Dylan songs.

The Sunday Times - May 2011 ****

What to do if you admire Bob Dylan’s songs, but not his singing? Barb Jungr laid out her stall almost a decade ago with her gorgeous disc Every Grain Of Sand. Just in time for the great man’s 70th birthday, she returns with a pensive, unfailingly literate collection drawn from her more recent recordings, with the addition of four newly recorded tracks, including the haunting title number and a delicious version of Sara. Jungr never follows the obvious route: the subtle criss-crossing of jazz, folk and rock influences may well give purists nightmares. The lyrics glow even brighter, however, and the musicianship is never less than first rate. (Clive Davis)

BBC Website - May 26, 2011

Barb Jungr - The Man In The Long Black Coat

As a Dylan interpreter, Jungr is right up there with Simone or The Byrds.

In March 2002, singer Barb Jungr released Every Grain of Sand, an album of Bob Dylan songs, on Linn. It became a cult classic, bringing her universal praise as a Dylan interpreter, and acting as a springboard for her career. Not lacking success before, Jungr has been on an upward trajectory ever since.

As if to acknowledge her debt to Dylan, each of Jungr’s subsequent Linn albums has included at least two of his songs. She even included a couple each on her tribute albums to Elvis Presley and Nina Simone. As Jungr herself has said, "Once I had started singing Dylan’s songs, I couldn’t stop."

Released to coincide with Dylan’s 70th birthday, Man in the Long Black Coat is almost a sequel to Every Grain of Sand, in that it consists entirely of Dylan songs. However, it is not a completely new album. Instead, it compiles all the Dylan tracks from Jungr’s post-2002 Linn albums and adds versions of four Dylan songs not previously recorded by her.

As always, Jungr’s versions cannot be called covers as they radically reinvent the originals. They are most successful when they avoid superfluous embellishments and focus on Jungr’s voice, which expressively conveys every nuance of the lyrics. But a few tracks try too hard to introduce jazz elements; for instance, The Times They Are A-Changin’ really is not improved by the addition of a saxophone solo between verses.

Tellingly, the four new recordings are the most successful, evidence that Jungr continues to improve. Crucially, they all focus firmly on the piano and Jungr’s voice. With God On Our Side – its lyrics as relevant today as they were when first heard in 1964 – is given a rousing, impassioned reading. In complete contrast, a gorgeous version of Sara – Dylan’s poignant love song to his estranged wife – perfectly captures the fragile longing of his lyrics.

As a Dylan interpreter, Jungr is right up there with Simone or The Byrds. Thankfully, Dylan has written over 200 songs, so we can hope to see more fine Jungr albums like this. (John Eyles)

The Glasgow Herald - 1 Jun 2011

Deranged obsessives, as many of them are, Dylan fans may not be too enamoured of this collection of Zim classics as reinterpreted by Jungr and her often jazz-schooled cronies.

As it is a belated follow-up to her Every Grain of Sand collection and assembled from sessions dating back to 2004, beefed up with four new piano-and-percussion-only arrangements, it even looks dangerously like a cash-in for the 70th birthday market (Bob’s, not Barb’s).

In fact it is a very fine set, sonically very much of a piece, thanks to the consistent mixing desk role of the astonishingly eared Calum Malcolm, and packed – bravely – with Dylan songs we all know and love. Perhaps the blinkered purists will be appalled, but I rather like this hip Latin-rhythm The Times They Are A-Changing and lilting reggae version of Just Like A Woman. Instrumentation elsewhere includes two fine string quartet arrangements by Jonathan Cooper and some superbly controlled guitar feedback by Matt Backer on Like A Rolling Stone. And Jungr sings Dylan’s words quite beautifully, which the man himself, well, can’t.

Keith Bruce

THE INDEPENDENT - Friday, 27 May 2011

(Rated 3/ 5 ) Reviewed by Andy Gill

A compilation of Dylan covers from various stages of her career, freshened up with four new recordings, Man in the Long Black Coat mines Barb Jungr's fascination with the septuagenarian troubadour with variable results.

The rushed "The Times They Are a-Changin'" and ill-judged reggae version of "Just Like a Woman" don't work, but elsewhere her deconstructed jazz takes on "Blind Willie McTell" and "High Water" allow new slants to seep into the songs, while the abstracted arrangement of "Like a Rolling Stone" is effective in evoking the drifting sensibility being criticised. Likewise, the waltz-time title-track has an apt fatalism about it, while the mbira thumb-piano at the heart of "Ballad of Hollis Brown" has the quietly demented tone appropriate to the poor farmer's deepening madness.

DOWNLOAD THIS Like a Rolling Stone; Man in the Long Black Coat; High Water; Ballad of Hollis Brown

6 Moons website

www.6moons.com/musicreviews/2011_may/jungr.html

London Jazz

londonjazz.blogspot.com/2011/05/cd-review-barb-jungr-man-in-long-black.html

In Tune Magazine, June Issue, 2011

Having fallen for the songs of Dylan in 2002 via her tribute album EVERY GRAIN OF SAND. Barb subsequently featured the odd song or two on later collections and in order to close the circle the decision to collate all those scattered tracks for release together with four added new recordings proves to be a logical one in view of the iconic singer/songwriter/poet/painter's 70th birthday in May 2011. What you get is Barb's eclectic cabaret vocal style in its warmhearted celebration. They receive an irresistible finger-clicking approach but then each track incorporates a blend of jazz and blues in the singer's reinvention of diverse lyric-driven songs with a definite French/European approach to her material. (Allen Pollock)

Jazzwise July 2011 ***

As Barb Jungr notes in the CD booklet, her first album of material from the Bob Dylan songbook, her 2002 recording Every Grain of Sand, marked ‘the beginning of a love affair'. Paying tribute to Dylan in his 70th birthday year, this new compilation brings together all of the Dylan songs that Jungr has recorded since Every Grain, with the added bonus of four newly recorded songs - ‘Man In The Long Black Coat', ‘It Ain't Me Babe', ‘Sara' and ‘With God On Our Side' - whish the singer has introduced into her live repertoire. Heard back to back, what impresses most about the 13-track collection is the sheer variety of approach - rhythmically, harmonically, texturally - from the infectious 5/4 groove of ‘The Times They Are A-Changin' and the reggae-tinged ‘Just Like A Woman', to the hypnotic bass-plus-finger-clicks of ‘Trouble in Mind' and the autumnal soulfulness of ‘I Shall Be Released' (arranged for voice and string quartet). Of the new material, the suitably apocalyptic title track, opening with ominously toiling bells and open fifths in the piano, provides the most dramatic lead-off song imaginable. As we've come to expect from Linn, the recording quality throughout is faultless, with every tiny textural detail given its rightful place in the mix. If you've yet to enter Barb Jungr's musical universe, then this paean to Dylan is just about the perfect place to start. (Peter Quinn)

O's Place Jazz Magazine, 14 June 2011 *** out of 4 stars

O's Notes: British vocalist Barb Jungr has a powerful voice. She puts it through the paces on Man in the Long Black Coat, a collection of songs by Bob Dylan. She first sang Dylan's tunes on her popular 2002 release Every Grain of Sand and has included at least one Dylan song in all CDs since! Barb adds four new Dylan songs to her post 2002 collection in celebration of Bob's 70th birthday. We enjoyed the funky blues of "Trouble in Mind", "Sara" and her take on "High Water". These aren't just covers but transformations! When she hits it right, Jungr strikes gold. (Dr. Oscar Groomes)

Girlsingers.org

Posted on May 14, 2011 by Doug Boynton

If I’m going to have hard liquor, I try to stay away from highballs – a shot of liquor and a splash of some mixer. I much prefer a traditional cocktail – some blending of spirits, as in a Martini or Manhattan. Infinite variety in search of perfection. You may think you’ve found it, but…ah! Here’s one that’s even better.

Which brings us to Barb Jungr. And Bob Dylan.

Barb Jungr – Man In The Long Black Coat (Linn)

Released – May 30, 2011

This is Barb Jungr’s second compilation of music and lyrics from Bob Dylan, although Mr. Dylan’s work peppers pretty much all of her back catalog of albums. In the liner notes, she writes about that first collection (“Every Grain Of Sand”) in 2002 – “…it was the beginning of a love affair. Once I had started singing Dylan’s songs I couldn’t stop, and recorded more over the last six years on various collections.”

Nine of these then, are from previous releases. Four tracks – “Sara,” and “Man In The Long Black Coat,” along with “It Ain’t Me Babe” and “With God On Our Side,” are new recordings.

I’m laughing as I write this, listening to her take on Dylan’s mournful “Just Like A Woman” in a sassy uptempo, with the hook reminiscent of sixties girl-group kitsch. And some of the appeal is just this – in hearing Mr. Dylan’s laments reinterpreted through a new lens.

Ms. Jungr performs with a level of emotional intensity, even through some of the lighter fare – somewhere between simplicity and performance art – that I found uncomfortable at first. But that was years ago. I began dropping her tracks into other mixes – and just as my Martini cocktails kept getting a little drier – I eventually acquired the taste. It wasn’t hard work, and I’ve been enjoying Ms. Jungr’s work straight up ever since.

My favorites on this disc include two of the new tracks – “Sara,” and “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” along with “Like A Rolling Stone,” which came from 2003′s “Waterloo Sunset.”

Ms. Jungr’s work started getting recognition in the US – she’s been performing regularly (and winning cabaret awards) in New York since 2005, and the release of this disc couples with a UK tour through the summer.

Powerful, familiar, surprising, and even amusing in spots, this recording takes Dylan’s work to some surprising new places, and is very highly recommended.

CD REVIEWS: The Men I Love: The New American Songbook

Only Glenn Campbell has delivered a better version of Wichita Lineman

Choice, Feb 2010

There are few better interpreters of contemporary song than Barb Jungr.Rock’n’Reel

First recorded by Glen Campbell, I can think of no other version of Jimmy Webb’s ‘Wichita Lineman’ which best conveys the infinite horizons of northern Oklahoma which provided the inspiration of the song than Jungr’s reworking here.Jazzwise

The Times on Sunday UK ****

It is a sign of how the Rochdale-born singer’s reputation has travelled across the Atlantic that she returns to Woody Allen’s Upper East Side haunt, Café Carlyle, later this week. Walking a fine line between cabaret, jazz and grown-up pop, Jungr has always had an eye for an unlikely tune. This pensive collection hits its stride from the outset, with a brave reworking of Once in a Lifetime — it’s as if David Byrne had fallen into the hands of a Sondheim heroine. The Todd Rundgren anthem I Saw the Light benefits just as much from Jungr’s sharp intelligence, the pianist Simon Wallace sculpting another of his subtle small-group arrangements. Clive Davis

Reviewed by Andy Gill in The Independent ****

Friday, 5 March 2010

After the tightly-focused spotlight on the late Nina Simone's repertoire that was Just Like A Woman, Barb Jungr returns to her wide-ranging selections from The Great American Songbook with The Men I Love.

Although, being Jungr, the songs are often treated to odd interpretations which have the effect of turning familiar friends into complete strangers. In part, this is due to the instrumental palette favoured by Jungr and her co-arranger Simon Wallace, which features limpid tones of piano, organ, cello and woodwind – perfect for a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Night Comes On" poised on the cusp of relaxation and anticipation, but less effective on a version of "I'm A Believer" improbably transformed into a torch song, sacrificing its pop charm in the process. Perhaps the most successful, and revolutionary, interpretation is of Talking Heads' "Once In A Lifetime", on which piano, cello, shakuhachi and subtle percussion create an almost oriental mystery reflected in the inquisitive, airy innocence of Jungr's delivery. But the treatment meted out to "You Ain't Going Nowhere" is just plain wrong. Likewise, Jungr's "This Old Heart Of Mine" loses the sheer ecstatic momentum of the Isleys' original. Ultimately, she's on safest ground dealing with big, evocative choruses that reliably fountain emotion, most effectively here on and "Wichita Lineman". www.independent.co.uk

Propose Music Review

Before recording this album, Barb Jungr and her pianist Simon Wallace toured at length with the theatre version, The Men I Love. The show perceived soap-box reviews opposite the UK and in New York for Jungr’s brave interpretations of the songs, and for the play and tension her voice conjures up.

From Ella Fitzgerald in the 50s to Rod Stewart in the past decade, albums with “songbook” in the pretension have tended to underline classical songs by important songwriters similar to Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter and their ilk. Now, this manuscript has damaged which cover and in essence redefined the term.

The Men I Love: The New American Songbook focuses on songs created given the 60s, together with a little by stars similar to Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen. Alongside these is an brave reduction which takes in Motown, The Monkees (via Neil Diamond), Bread, Talking Heads and Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon.

Jungr’s powers of understand have such an heterogeneous preference in to a vital, awake album. She sounds as if she has lived each line of each song. These have been not only cover versions. Instead, Jungr and Wallace have taken the songs detached to find out how they work, prior to remodeling them.

Often the formula have been unrecognizable compared to the originals. The opener, Once in a Lifetime, bears no snippet of Talking Heads’ despondency workout, transposed by a sparse, thespian and roughly confessional celebration of the mass which hinges on the line “my God, what have I done?” delivered with an suitable clarity of revelation.

Key to a little of these versions is the multiple of dual songs on a associated subject. Can’t Get Used to Losing You moves seamlessly in to Red Red Wine, whilst This Old Heart of Mine becomes Love Hurts – the suffering of mislaid love is a repeated thesis via the album.

These recordings set up on the piano and voice twin of the live show. The pointed further of bass, cello, shriek and percussion adds shading, complementing Jungr and Wallace but detracting from them. Jungr needs no combined mixture to urge her information exchnage of the heated feelings contained in these good songs. www.proposemusic.com

CD Review at Girl Singers

I’m liking the idea of more contemporary material as part of the American songbook. So does Barb Jungr. “There is a body of great work which sits for me right inside the classic Great American Songbook,” she writes in the publicity sheet, “where songs both stand the test of time and also are able to be re-imagined…”

We’ve talked about this concept here in this space before. Christopher Loudon makes an impassioned call for songbook expansion in a recent Jazz Times piece.

Turning pop music into classics has been a staple of Ms. Jungr’s work for some time, but never quite as far as she does on this disc. Ms. Jungr – a master craftsman at interpreting lyrics – puts these songs into another space entirely. These lyrics taken out of their pop roots, and in the hands of a master like Ms. Jungr is something else, again.

The style is powerful and raw, especially on the ballads. And it’s surprising to me which tracks have been turned into ballads. You haven’t heard “I’m A Believer” like this before. Ever.

Other favorites included Paul Simon’s “My Little Town,” and (even I was surprised) Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman.”

The idea was hatched as a “something different” for a cabaret show at the Carlyle, in New York. The show won great reviews. The disc is no less.

Very highly recommended.

girlsingers.org

BBC Review - John Eyles - 2010-02-22

Jungr needs no added ingredients to improve her communication of these great songs. Click here to read the full review »

CD Review: Midwest Record

Game changer time as cabaret enters a new age. A sensual vocalist in

the best of the tradition, Jungr replaces Cole Porter with Jimmy Webb

and kicks off the new classic American songbook. David Byrne side by

side with Leonard Cohen and Neil Diamond and several stalwarts that

certainly deserve the recognition. One of the familiar but different

kind of records in the vein of Nouvelle Vague, Jungr is clearly that

important kind of uptown vocalist you have to pay attention to as

she’s got the touch to turn anything into art, in a good way. A new

high water mark for sitting down music.

Volume 33/Number 113 CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher

CD Review: This Is Books Music February 18, 2010

The Men I Love: The New American Songbook is an album that takes a unique look at American music of the last 50 years, exploring rock’n'roll, pop, and soul that presents these songs in an all new way. Even if you’ve heard them countless times (and you have), you’ll come out of this thinking that these are the best songs ever written. Maybe they’re a part of your life’s soundtrack and didn’t realize what they were or why they’re important, at least to you. Click here to read the full review »

BBC Jazz - John Eyles

Before recording this album, Barb Jungr and her pianist Simon Wallace toured extensively with the stage version, The Men I Love. The show received rave reviews across the UK and in New York for Jungr’s daring interpretations of its songs, and for the drama and emotion her voice conjures up.

From Ella Fitzgerald in the 50s to Rod Stewart in the past decade, albums with “songbook” in the title have tended to feature classic songs by notable songwriters like Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter and their ilk. Now, this album has broken that mould and radically redefined the term.

The Men I Love: The New American Songbook focuses on songs written since the 60s, including some by stars like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen. Alongside these are an adventurous mixture that takes in Motown, The Monkees, Bread, Talking Heads and Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon.

Jungr’s powers of interpretation make such an eclectic selection into a vital, coherent album. She sounds as if she has lived every line of every song. These are not just cover versions. Instead, Jungr and Wallace have taken the songs apart to find out how they work, before remodeling them.

Often the results are unrecognizable compared to the originals. The opener, Once in a Lifetime, bears no trace of Talking Heads’ funk workout, replaced by a sparse, dramatic and almost confessional reading that hinges on the line “my God, what have I done?” delivered with an appropriate sense of revelation.

Key to some of these versions is the combination of two songs on a related subject. Can’t Get Used to Losing You moves seamlessly into Red Red Wine, while This Old Heart of Mine becomes Love Hurts - the pain of lost love is a recurring theme throughout the album.

These recordings build on the piano and voice duo of the live show. The subtle addition of bass, cello, flute and percussion adds shading, complementing Jungr and Wallace without detracting from them. Jungr needs no added ingredients to improve her communication of the intense feelings contained in these great songs.

Barb Jungr and the ‘Lost’ Generation

The Art Of The Torch Singer - Blog

Click here to read the feature and review »

Cabaret Confessional

Interview: ‘Less Is More’ – Barb Jungr Lets The Songs Breathe

Click here to read the feature and review »

CD REVIEWS: Just Like a Woman (Hymn to Nina)

Barb Jungr - Just Like a Woman (Hymn to Nina)

Blues Matters Nov 08

Everyone will agree that Nina Simone had one of the most distinguishable voices in recording history. It takes a certain credibility to take on an album of Nina Simone songs, and she carries it off. Barb Jungr is not doing an imitation of Nina Simone, the songs are sung in her own style, but her breathy smooth approach is equally effortless. She is backed by fine musicians who keep to the background, yet are clearly immensely talented. Her different noirish takes on ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ and ‘Keeper of the Flame’ grab the attention as does her lonely lament combining ‘One Morning In May’ with ‘The Pusher’. Barb Jungr addresses complex tunes, makes them simple and smooth with a whisper and control that is a perfect compliment to her wish to engage the spirit of Nina Simone. (Gareth Hayes)

**** Barb Jungr – Just Like A Woman (Hymn to Nina) The Independent Review 14.3.2008

Having established her reputation through unusual interpretations of songwriters such as Jacques Brel and Bob Dylan, the vocal stylist Barb Jungr turns her attentions to Nina Simone. Ticking clock and groaning bass lend an air of lovelorn fatalism to the splendid ‘Lilac Wine’, and a grimly descending chord structure imposes a similarly bereft tone to her despairing ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’; but the most startling pieces here are the medleys in which Jungr infuses contemporary material with the darkling mystery of traditional folksong, most notably the alliance of ‘One Morning In May’ with the old Steppenwolf drug song ‘The Pusher’. Apart from a ‘Ballad of Hollis Brown’. Jungr’s Dylan interpretations are less convincing than might be expected, particularly the odd, jaunty ‘Times They Are A -Changin’’, but the up-tempo blues arrangement of ‘Feeling Good’ that closes the album is a vivid display of her subject’s balance of control and abandonment.

**** Barb Jungr: Just Like a Woman (Hymn to Nina) - the Sunday Times review (9.03.08)

After deconstructing Elvis, Dylan and Jacques Brel, the British singer pays homage to Nina Simone. Jungr being Jungr, nothing follows a conventional path in this oblique collection, which veers between gospel, folk, R&B and discreet jazz. She doesn’t go for obvious covers or try to compete with Simone’s idiosyncratic delivery – her voice is lighter and almost girlish. The real pleasure lies in the typically thoughtful juxtapositions of material. The bleak sentiments of The Pusher sit side by side with the pastoral cadences of One Morning in May, while Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood is unashamedly dark. Fans will be pleased that the Dylan quota remains high. (Clive Davis) Linn AKD309

**** Barb Jungr 'Just like a woman - hymn to Nina (The Independent) March 7, 2008

A vocal stylist acclaimed for her interpretations of Jacques Brel and Bob Dylan, Barb Jungr here turns her attention to Nina Simone, with an album drawn from the late pianist's repertoire. The most striking pieces may be the medleys with which Jungr brings a trad-folk tone to particularly the seamless seguing of 'One Morning in May' with the old Steppenwolf drug song 'The Pusher'....her 'Ballad of Hollis Brown', with the delicate madness of the piano part evoking the protagonist's descent into despair, is much more effective. It's all brought to a close with a rousing, exultant blues arrangement of 'Feeling Good' that pays true homage to Nina's feisty spirit. (Andy Gill)

Album of the Week - Barb Jungr ‘Just Like A Woman (Hymn to Nina)’, The Independent, 22.3.2008

Barb Jungr sold out a week of gigs at Ronnie Scott’s to launch this album of songs associated with Nina Simone. Her previous albums have made her the foremost interpreter of Bob Dylan’s back catalogue around, and there’s a trio of Zimmerman classics here, alongside ‘Llilac Wine’ and a wonderful, breathy ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’. Classy doesn’t begin to sum it up. (Tim Cumming)

Barb Jungr ‘Just Like A Woman (Hymn to Nina)’, Bluesart.at APRIL 2008

Barb Jungr is a UK based singer of Czech and German parentage who is renowned in the UK for her treatment of songs as songs, sometimes with jazz or blues inflections, sometimes not. What more natural then she should dedicate a set to songs associated with another unclassifiable but highly talented and respected singer, Nina Simone? So, Barb tackles the likes of folk songs, Bob Dylan numbers, the Bee Gee’s beautiful ‘To Love Somebody’ (also recorded by James Carr), ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ – known to many from the Yardbirds, I would hazard a guess – and the sublime reworking of ‘Angel of The Morning’, and she makes each her own whilst maintaining the homage. Backing is courtesy of a stellar group drawn from the UK jazz scene, rounding off what is indeed a very classy package – and by no stretch of the imagination is this a jazz album, or a blues recording come to that. Having written that though, ‘Feeling Good’ does have all the enthusiasm and excitement of a sixties beat group performance. But try the reggae-inflected rendition of Dylan’s ‘Just Like A Woman’ for something different – or just try any of the eleven tracks. Too often tributes are over-respectful and over-reverent, but Barb certainly sounds as though she is enjoying herself and I doubt Ms Simone would have been too impressed with a straight copy of any of her numbers. As a result, Nina’s fans will be delighted with this joyous set, as no doubt will Barb’s, too.(Norman Darwen)

****Barb Jungr ‘Just Like A Woman (Hymn to Nina)’Record Collector, May 2008,

Finally, look out for Just Like A Woman (Hymn To Nina), a fabulous new album by BARB JUNGR, a Rochdale-born chanteuse with both Czech and German roots, who’s built her reputation as an interpreter of French chansons. Intended as an homage to Nina Simone, the 11-track CD finds Jungr offering radical and boldly imaginative reinventions of the Simone favourites Feeling Good and Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, plus a compelling, almost incantatory medley of One Morning In May and The Pusher.

Barb Jungr ‘Just Like A Woman (Hymn to Nina)’ Jazzwise, May 2008

Nowadays fewer singers do it than before, maybe because it's not simple (certainly not as simple as some people might make it out to be). We're speaking about thematically linked song programmes, as here. The small print explains, "all songs previously recorded by Nina Simone" though I admit to Simone singing The Pusher never having lodged in my cranium. Like Scarlett O' (Seeboldt) in Germany, Barb Jungr has developed the knack of creating cohesive and coherent song cycles. "Just Like a Woman" has Nina Simone's repertoire as its backbone but it is Jungr and the team that add new sinew, muscle and grey matter to what could have been easily turned into a posy of Nina nosegays.

For many Simone's piebald-varied repertoire will be the stuff of association - love affairs, flings, lives and deaths. Jungr's phrasing and ability to slide across end rhymes in to the next line are the stuff of revelation. Likewise, what music director Jenny Carr's figurative baton achieves. Danny Thompson's skeletal bass on Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood could be being played on, to summon an image from European folklore, wailing strings. "Just Like a Woman" works both as an artistic statement and an artistic unity.

*** Barb Jungr ‘Just Like A Woman’, Scotland on Sunday 16.3.08

Subtitled Hymn To Nina, this album is the English singer Barb Jungr's tribute to the late Nina Simone, one of her key influences. The 11 songs are all numbers that Simone herself interpreted - and range from traditional ballads, such as Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair, to pop classics, including a trio of Bob Dylan songs and the Gibb Brothers' To Love Somebody. Jungr's pure, throaty vocals have a fluidity and agility which allow her to pull off the trickiest numbers with graceful ease. (Alison Kerr)

Barb Jungr – Just Like A Woman. Sunday Mercury, Birmingham. March 16.3.2008-03-12

There’s an awful lot of female vocalists around at the moment and problem is many of them sound very much alike. The British born Barb Jungr doesn’t.

Following her recent, fine albums ‘Waterloo Sunset’ and ‘Every Grain of Sand’ she now pays homage to the music of the brilliant Nina Simone.

Her jazzy, Peggy Lee style vocals, coupled with some subtle playing from her backing band, make this a very interesting album. (Bev Bevan)

Barb Jungr's Hymn to Nina Simone (All About Jazz.com) March 4, 2008

"Just Like a Woman" is Barb Jungr's hymn to he late, legendary Nina Simone. This beautiful, haunting and reflective album comprises eleven songs famously interpreted by the great singer - a voice with whom she has often been compared. Like her mentor, Jungr is truly a singer who lives life through her work.

This release is backed by an extensive UK tour. She has just returned from New York where she collected the Nitelife Award for Outstanding Cabaret Vocalist 2008. For this recording, Barb surrounded herself with some of the UK's finest musicians, including Danny Thompson on bass and Mark Lockheart on saxophone and clarinets. The songs are imaginatively arranged and are performed throughout with lan and a moving lightness of touch. Highlights include a gorgeous rendition of “Lilac Wine", a robust take on “The Times They Are a-Changin'" and a floor-filling jazz-dance version of “Feeling Good". Co-produced by the Blue Nile producer Calum Malcolm, jazz instrumentation and a straight ahead sensibility blend with Jungr's knowing interpretations to powerful effect. Jungr is perhaps most famous for her re-workings of Bob Dylan songs.

CD REVIEWS: Walking In The Sun

"astute...simmering....intelligent"

The Sunday Times

"Magnificent ...Jungr's voice is truly a thing of wonder"

The Daily Express

Audiophile - 07/01/07

High Fidelity Review

Barb Jungr - Walking In The Sun

English chanteuse Barb Jungr knows how to give a song a personality, even when it is a song that already has a strong one. She's able to grab each song by the horns, and whether it is her own or someone else's to start with, by the time she's done, it's definitely hers. This could be a bad thing in the wrong hands, but fortunately, Jungr has the creativity, skill, and shrewd sense which put her into that select category of artists whom we're eager to hear cover songs. Her combination of covers and originals on her new Linn Records album 'Walking in the Sun' blends seamlessly into one of the most impressive albums I've heard this year.

Time and time again, Jungr shapes not only each line or even each song, but the entire ebb and flow of the album. For the keystone position at the center of the album, Jungr takes the melancholy "Rainy Day" by Brownie McGhee and alters the lyrics to sing it from the woman's point of view, an impressively effective conceit. The easier path would have been to merely change the gender being sung about in the song, but this angle makes it into a portrait of a restless woman's reflection on the path she had to take. Jessica Lauren's harmonica chimes in doleful commentary in the background, growing more elaborate as the song grows in emotion. The second half of the album starts off with 'Take Out Some Insurance' before Jungr tears into the next track, the most wide-flung and unexpected of the album. It starts with a harsh, aggressive a capella verse of the old traditional song 'Run On For A Long Time', which threatens that God will cut you down. But then it runs headlong into Randy Newman's acid-witted anti-faith song 'God's Song'. Its inclusion here is what makes Jungr's theme truly work. Her subject is faith, and she fearlessly dares to nail it to the wall with a blistering, theatrical account of the number.

Next, astonishingly, comes Bob Dylan's almost-lost masterpiece 'Blind Willie McTell'. I say astonishingly because it is boldness bordering on sacrilege to cover a song this great. Thus I was surprised and not a little concerned when I saw that Jungr was covering it on this album. And when the track first started, I was not happy. Jessica Lauren's arrangement here is almost buoyant, with a jazzy swing. At first glance, it seemed all wrong. But it doesn't pay to ever underestimate what Jungr and friends might have up their sleeves. As the groove settles in, it gives the song a period feel, like something out of the 1930's, with a wicked rhythmic hook. Soon it became clear that the buoyancy is actually nervous, kinetic energy. The jazz is the gallows-glamour of Great Depression-era clubs. Jungr turns up her radiance to full and slinks through the first few verses quite affectingly, if still seemingly at odds with the starkness of the song. Then she plays her trump card: The instruments abruptly cease, leaving her alone, vulnerable in the spotlight, lipstick gleaming as a tear falls. She slowly spins out the next verse and chorus like a glimpse into the center of a soul, shadowed by a few mere ghosts of dissonant notes drifting in from the background. When the instruments revive the groove, there is now an urgency and desperation that makes one believe, even if only for a few minutes, that this song couldn't be done any other way. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't heard it myself.

Once again, I find my thoughts turning back to Bob Dylan, who is obviously a central inspiration to Jungr, even though her own style is quite different from his. She has learned his lessons well: Lessons of vision, commitment, characterization, and control of the ebb and flow of energy. I can offer no greater praise than that. Suffice it to say that when I first started listening to this album, my first coherent thought was: "This can't possibly be this good." Now after exploring it, living with it, and running through it with a fine-toothed comb for a few weeks, all I can say is this: It is. (Mark Jordan)

**** "Walking in the Sun" Jazzwise (Nov 06)

A funky percussion intro is joined by a chunky double bass riff. Must be the latest Cassandra Wilson release, right? Wrong. On her fifth album for Linn Records Barb Jungr - flanked by the members of her new trio, pianist Jenny Carr and organist Jessica Lauren - returns to her first love, blues and gospel, and delivers her most compellingly sung and intensely vital collection to date. Compared to her acclaimed homages to Brel, Dylan and Presley, "Walking in the Sun" is promiscuously inclusive. Jungr's finely tuned sense of high-wire drama is brought to bear on the vivid imagery of Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love?, the wistful yearning of Carole King'sWay Over Yonder, Jimmy Cliff's Many Rivers to Cross complete with an ecstatic, hair-raising conclusion and, naturally, a further brace of Dylan songs (the powerful narratives of Trouble in Mind and Blind Willie McTell). The overriding impression is of each song being filtered through a decidedly creative and imaginative mind. (Peter Quinn)

**** Barb Jungr - Walking in the Sun

(Audiophile Audition, Dec ’06)

Jungr makes just about every song in this stunning assortment her own

Barb Jungr is a very well known singer in her native England, where she’s had a lengthy career of performances and collaborations with numerous artists; most recently, she participated in the "Girl Talk" sessions with Claire Martin and Mari Wilson. She’s also become quite something of a musicologist, with a very keen interest in world music and she’s lectured extensively about singing and vocal performance. Her repertory is quite broad, encompassing diverse styles ranging from French chansons to cabaret, folk, gospel and blues. This superb disc fromLinn Records features an eclectic mix of gospel and blues, as well as songs from artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Randy Newman and Carole King, and includes a couple of self-penned tunes as well. The resulting album has a very spiritual feel to it, and Barb Jungr finds a way to make just about every song in this stunning assortment her own.

Barb’s smoky-sweet alto is perfect here; on the disc’s opening track “Who Do You Love,” (popularized by George Thorogood’s raunch-n-roll version) she lends a very light vocal touch (almost a whisper), which theoretically seems totally wrong for this song, but she makes it just oh-so-right. The next track, Bob Dylan’s “Trouble In Mind,” opens with a sensationally smooth upright bass and finger-snapping intro, and segues into Barb’s spot-on vocal - this woman really knows how to sing the blues, and she can really belt it out as required. Jessica Lauren lends a lightly-played organ accompaniment that’s sheer perfection - one thing that’s evident from the start is how the vocal and instrumental textures are so perfectly arranged throughout this excellent disc... I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve hit the replay button on her soulful delivery of Brownie McGhee’s “Rainy Day.” It’s one of those magical moments where everything worked perfectly, and the resulting sounds are irresistible.

This is a textbook example of how surround sound should be done right. Highly recommended.

**** "Walking In The Sun"

Rainbow Network

Barb Jungr has just released her fifth album, Walking in the Sun, and it's a collection of songs, most of which are covers, but perhaps few of which you’ll actually have heard before.

Who is Jungr? An accomplished and eclectic singer, she has been called the English Edith Piaf. Having come to prominence through her performances in Edinburgh, Jungr's shows are a mixture of torch songs and edgy cabaret. With a background in ethnomusicology and an interest in all forms of traditional music, she fuses jazz, blues and folk influences. Basically, it's all about the song.

And songs are the hook on which this latest album hangs. Two Bob Dylan compositions, a Randy Newman piece, Carole King and others less known, but these are not generally standards. Instead, these are the kinds of songs that someone who really knows about music would choose and with her beautiful voice, which is high and clear, sensual and rich, Jungr brings her own personal interpretation to these songs. At times it seems as though she's channelling Peggy Lee or Nina Simone, at others she could be revisiting an earlier incarnation, for example her rendition of ‘Run On For a Long Time’ is reminiscent of her work with The Three Courgettes.

Walking in the Sun is an album for more sophisticated listeners. It has a sparse, smoky, after hours atmosphere and, should you be a rare muso with a Linn listening device, you'll be able to enjoy the genius of this album's innovative technical production.

But despite the sunshiny title, this album has its dark moments. The jazzy arrangements may be easy on the ear, but the lyrics tell tales of heartbreak and anguish

CD REVIEWS: LOVE ME TENDER

The Sunday Times March 6.05 **** stars

Poised between pop, jazz and cabaret, Jungr’s tributes to Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré and Dylan are among the most thoughtful British recordings of the past decade. She takes risks — an album dedicated to Presley could easily turn into high-grade kitsch — but there are no such problems here. Always on My Mind, along with the title ballad and the superb Love Letters, are transformed. The arrangers, Adrian York and Jonathan Cooper, have stripped the pieces to their basics, with Jungr’s voice cushioned by celeste, minimalist piano figures and string quartet. Presley’s lush sentimentality goes out of the window: in its place is an art-song sensibility tinged with cultured R&B. (Clive Davis)

Audiophile Edition, Aug 05. ****1/2 stars

Cabaret singer's unexpected takes on hits of Elvis and Dylan

If you hate it when you go to a concert and all your favourite band plays is cover songs, then don't go see Barb Jungr's fall tour. She is tearing up Europe and West following the recent release of Love Me Tender; which includes 11 songs performed by Elvis and two by Bob Dylan. Her exotic voice drives me to fantasise about her sitting atop a piano in a smoky pub, holding a cigarello in one hand and a tall glass of Boddingtons in the other. Heartbreak Hotel blows me away every time I listen to it. The fresh rendition with Barb‘s signature jazzy overtone touch is so breath-taking, you really can't believe the rock roots behind it. To compare Barb with other singers wouldn’t do her talents justice, but if I had to, I would say the closest audible comparison would be Johnette Napolitano from Concrete Blonde. I have never been a fan of Elvis' music, but get me to Graceland baby, I have been reborn!!!!

Barb, a cabaret singer by trade, has herein followed up her 2002 release, Every Grain of Sand, a superb album chock full of Bob Dylan’s songs. Her raspy, Marlboro-perfected voice out performs any impersonator I have ever heard. Barb's soulful voice does wonders for all 13 tracks on the album. In the Ghetto is perfectly crooned. I can only imagine how lucky the band members felt at the end of that session. One of my favourites, Are You Lonely Tonight, is done with such raw emotion, that I can't visualise it being sung by Elvis.

Barb's classical rendition of the rebellious song I Shall Be Released (one of my favourite Bob Dylan songs snuck into this album) could start riots in the prisons with her, “Come on boys follow me!” attitude. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the album. I have never been a fan of Elvis' music when performed by him, but these covers are amazing. I just wish Barb was gigging over here, maybe at the Green Mill in Chicago… I dream big! (Paul Pelon IV)

Record Collector, December 2005. * * * * stars

The King’s Music as you’ve never heard it before.

If pigeonholed as a kind of British “answer” to Juliette Greco, Jungr functions as a composer as well as an adroit interpreter of the songs of others. nevertheless, as Greco did with Serge Gainsbourg, she has chosen to focus on one particular artist over an entire album. Response to the general result depends upon a number of variables - such as how precious you are about one such as she warping Presley so daringly to her own highly individual devices - and enunciating clearly lyrics that the Hillbilly Cat mumbles.

She hasn’t picked much that’s especially stylised; no 12-bar Blue Suede Shoes or I Was The One with its cliched chord sequence - though there’s a spooky Heartbreak Hotel that is more eye-stretching an overhaul than even John Cale’s in 1974. Other highlights include a brace of Dylan numbers that Elvis recorded - plus a jagged Jungr original, Looking For Elvis - and, fellas, that’s Mari Wilson, sometime Neasden Queen of Soul, helping her out on backing vocals. (Alan Clayson)

All Music Guide, 2005. * * * * and a half stars

Another exquisite, at times astonishing, album from Miss Jungr. Unlike Bob Dylan, whose songbook the singer had so expressively re-imagined on Every Grain of Sand, Elvis Presley was never himself a composer, depending instead entirely on professional publishers for his material, much of it originally chosen for its commercial prospects; however, even at its worst -- the soundtracks to the crap cookie-cutter movies the King made in the '60s usually come to mind here -- his recorded output had a certain consistency to it. On reflection that is primarily because, even at their qualitative best, his songs were as much about the sensual, muscular, bel canto performances and tied to the superstar singer's outsize, magnetic personality as they were about the merits of the tunes themselves. In other words, you are listening to Elvis sing those songs more than you are listening to the songs he is singing. In a way, that makes Jungr's Love Me Tender all the more remarkable: you do not hear the King at all here except in faint echoes and traces, like barely remembered fairy tales you were told as a child as you were drifting off to sleep. This isn't an exercise in dress-up, as it very easily might have been. Instead you are treated to a phenomenally responsive singer finding her way into and breathing the oxygen of forgotten stories, while, in the process, refitting them to say something real and useful, something personal about your world and about the one long past. In a sense, you are hearing these songs -- many of them now considered classics (pop/rock standards, if such things exist) -- for the first time. Worlds of passion and pain, discovery and dislocation exist in these songs. They are so entirely reinvented by Jungr, her brilliant arrangers Adrian York and Jonathan Cooper, and producer Calum Malcolm that the prevailing mood of the album is transformed into a mosaic, a complex map of one woman's fully lived life, from the dizzy, tender love letters of expectation to the lonesome heartbreak hotels that litter the highways of life, and all the attendant reveries, roadblocks, and realisations along the way, until she arrives at the gospel of her -- your -- existence, an exultant take on one of Presley's own favourite Baptist hymns, Thomas A. Dorsey's "Peace in the Valley." Jungr may have been "Looking for Elvis," as she sings in the album's sole self-written original, but she found herself. And in that discovery, there is a certain gesture of sublime benevolence toward the listener. Love Me Tender is an autobiography of shared memory, but more than that it is a primer to how people refashion that memory to ascertain and navigate their own trajectories. (Stanton Swihart)

The Daily Express - May 2005, * * * * stars

Whether it's adding a different spin or simply revealing hidden depths, a good cover version should always bring something new to a song. This collection of Elvis Presley covers from jazz singer and cabaret queen Barb Jungr manages to do both marvellously. From a slow and stripped-back "Heartbreak Hotel", with only piano and harp accompanying it, through to a spooky "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", these versions brilliantly bring out the haunting beauty of some of Elvis Presley's biggest hits. In the process, they make you feel as if your hearing the all-too familiar songs for the very first time. A must-have.

(Marcus Dunk)

The Singer, June 2005

One could argue that there was always a darker side to The King, but the hips distracted you. paring his greatest hits down to their bare essentials, as Barb Jungr has done in her latest CD from Linn records (Love Me Tender - AKD 255) reveals a collection of tracks heavy with potent lyrics, which have, up till now, been more familiar to us for their melodies (and the hips) A tall order to achieve this, but naturally Jungr is the one to do it. And there is a feel to the whole album that renders multiple listenings possible, so that the achievement is more than just rearrangement for rearrangement’s sake. Some numbers are wonderfully quirky, such as ‘Wooden Heart’, and ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’ is haunting to the point of almost becoming an invocation of the spirit of The King himself.

Yorkshire Post , March 2005

Jazz meets sophisticated cabaret in the singing of Barb Jungr, and on this wonderful, offbeat CD, it also meets the music of Elvis Presley. An alliance between jazz and Elvis is an unlikely one, but Jungr makes it work thanks to her unorthodox approach to familiar material and her gift for finding the emotional centre of a song. Presley casts a long shadow over these songs, and it's testament to Jungr's individuality that she makes them sound as if they were written just for her. (Andrew Vin)

HMV Choice - March/April 2005

New high queen of cabaret reinterprets the songs of the king of rock 'n' roll. Barb Jungr is widely regarded as Britain's most gifted song stylist, a true renaissance woman with her heart and roots in alternative cabaret and her head in all manner of intellectual endeavour. Following on from her acclaimed collections of French chanson and classic Bob Dylan comes this beguiling sojourn in the steps of one Elvis Aaron Presley. Jungr displays a fearless originality in rescuing the man's legacy from all those legions of second-rate imitators, actively seeking out the unexplored nuance in songs long since rendered virtually meaningless through sheer familiarity. Lyrics are eloquently enunciated rather than laboured over, while the stark arrangements reveal a haunting dimension of lost innocence. Although Jungr abandons her restraint for a thrillingly soulful In the Ghetto and unexpectedly declamatory I Shall be Released, for the most part she leaves the listener hanging pensively on her every utterance.

SACD NEWS

Barb Jungr Takes an Uncharted Journey Into The King's Legacy

Barb Jungr has deconstructed some his most famous songs, as well as some of his lesser known and gospel songs, and created a dark and intriguing journey through, love, loneliness, obsession and faith. These new and revealing interpretations will surprise those who know the songs only as performed by Presley. Jungr’s renditions shift meaning and tone to create a completely new landscape and reveal as they do how the singer transforms a song. ‘Love Me Tender’ underlines Jungr’s reputation as one of the most original artists of our day.

JARS 154, April 05.

Jungr’s voice, always affecting courtesy of its ability to move uncontrivedly between the most intimate dramatic whisper, a confiding earnestness tinged with melancholy vibrato, and a strident assertiveness, brings out all her material’s subtlest nuances and the resulting album, which also contains a haunting original, ‘Looking for Elvis’, can only bolster Jungr’s already considerable reputation as one of Europe’s most intriguing and intelligent interpreters of the contemporary song.

Jazzwise, July 2005

Barb Jungr is one of Britain's most effective deliverers of sonic bombshells. Here she tackles a body of songs associated with Elvis Presley, complemented by an original composition written by her and Adrian York. She starts the proceedings with a luscious rendering of "Love Letters", a colloquy between voice, celeste and cello. "Heartbreak Hotel" has a similar leanness and leaning towards loneliness. The choice of two Dylan songs "I Shall Be Released" and "Tomorrow is a Long Time" seems tenuous, a throwback to her Dylan anthology, Every Grain of Sand. What she does with a bunch of songs that ubiquity has devalued is interesting and brave. (Ken Hunt)

CD REVIEWS: Waterloo Sunset

Jazz Times, USA, June 2004

Now, in that distinctly winning style of hers that suggests Peggy Lee funnelled through Joan Baez, Jungr tackles a much broader theme-masks, real or imagined, that we all tend to wear from time to time-on the engagingly eclectic Waterloo Sunset (Linn. Jungr navigates the soft-flowing tide of Ray Davies' title tune with wistful contentment and manages what may well be the first female cover of Steve Miller's testosterone-fueled "The Joker." None can, however, quite compare to the self-absorbed remorse that Jungr lends to Charles de Forest's dusky lament to perennial bridesmaids, "When Do the Bells Ring for Me?". (Christopher Loudon)

Record Collector **** stars April 2004

Another side of Barb Jungr

For anybody to tackle ‘Waterloo Sunset’, they must be touched or divine. Barb Jungr pulls it off. Ergo, she must be both. (Ken Hunt)

The Rough Guide To Cult Pop' 2003

Rochdale has produced arguably the finest cabaret singer in recent times, Barb Jungr. Good as Lisa (Stansfield) is, Jungr's album 'Chanson The Space In Between' (Linn) shows real soul: it's quirky, intelligent cabaret music of the highest order. (Rough Guide/Haymarket Publishers)

Jazzwise, 2004

The recent progress and peregrinations of jazz-chansonnier par excellence Barb Jungr have been remarkable. Above all, one song bottles Jungr’s otherness when it comes to interpreting a lyric. The unholy chutzpah she displays in covering one of the Twentieth Century’s (and London’s all-time) greatest songs, Davies’ ‘Waterloo Sunset’ semaphores a brain-fevered, kamikaze instinct, yet in the moment when she sings the first line she puts the romantic filth into the Thames in a way that only the illegitimate influence of Ewan MacCollís ‘Sweet Thames, Flow Softly’ and ‘Dirty Old Town’ might match. That takes something. Beeline time. (Ken Hunt)

MOJO, December 2003

Jungr inhabits somewhere between Brel Broadway, Jazz Junction and Rock Revival land, where the lyric rules supreme and interpretation is all that really matters. Jungr knows a good song when she sings it. But the lady has other strings to her bow. For she's also an outstanding songwriter, as the opening Do You Play Guitar? and the boppish Lipstick Lips Lament prove. (Fred Dellar)

Jazz Review, 2004

Having established herself as one of the most original and intelligent interpreters of a lyric on the contemporary scene with her highly individual takes on Brel (Chanson The Space In Between) and Dylan (Every Grain Of Sand), Jungr is unrivalled for her ability to inhabit a song's emotional world, and the combination of her subtly enquiring sensibility and pleasingly tremulous vocal timbre with the music of a neat, versatile, punchy band centred on the flawless Adrian York is, although most effective in her entrancing live shows, utterly beguiling on disc. (Chris Parker)

CD REVIEWS: Every Grain of Sand

Top Ten Jazz Albums Of The Year in The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and The Washington Paper.

The Observer On Sunday March 2002

Her instrument is shockingly expressive, with an astonishing palette of colours, and thats before she gets down to the business of interpretation. Singing Dylan's eloquent short stories she flashes between crooning tenderness on "If Not For You" to full blooded lament on "Don't Think Twice It's Al Right". She can sound as husky and cracked as Judy Dench and like her, she understands characterisation. Jungr repeatedly reawakens detailed emotion lying dormant in lyrics. I just hope that Dylan himself has a listen and starts writing for her direct. (David Benedict)

MOJO, May 2002

Jungr approaches the Dylan songbook with a rare degree of intelligence, relishing each line in the manner of a true chansonnier. The kind of voice that many more should get around to hearing. (Fred Dellar)

The Times March 2002

Jungr's collection, "Every Grain Of Sand" comes as a quiet revelation....her sensual performance casts the songs in a fresh light. (Clive Davis)

The Telegraph April 2002

There is a faint hint of Lotte Lenya meets Bob Dylan... on this odd, but refreshing and strangely touching album. (Martin Gayford)

All About Jazz.com, USA September 2002

A highly personal style that suggests a contemporary amalgam of Peggy Lee and Nina Simone. Like both women, Jungr often moves around the circumference of jazz although she can and does sing straight ahead jazz. Jungr does exquisite justice to lyrics singing them in a voice that seems capable of expressing every gradation of feeling. (Mathew Bahl)

All Music Guide, USA, September 2002

Part of the sublime beauty of Every Grain of Sand is that it inspires, even challenges, one to make personal revisions and reinterpretations. Ultimately, Jungr is one of the few artists who has managed to not only come out on the other side of this songbook unscathed but to actually come out having enhanced its gravity, significance, and unvarnished beauty, as well as her own. She is not merely singing, but telling stories. She opens up a window of vulnerability and sensuality that previously sat stoic beneath the surface of these songs, and suffuses them with such a delicate, gauzy luminosity that they seem to glow from the inside out. Her singing is soulful and emotionally naked, and the performances so expressive that you take something new away with each listen. (Stanton Swihart)

Folk Roots, July '02

Barb Jungr has grown into one of this country's finest interpreters of contemporary song , judging by her "Chanson The Space In Between" (2000) and "Every Grain Of Sand" (2002). (Ken Hunt)

CD REVIEWS: Chanson: The Space In Between

Top Ten Jazz Albums of the Year in The Sunday Times

The Times June 2001

At home with pop and blues as well as jazz, the immaculate Barb Jungr has won a well deserved reputation as Britain's answer to Juliette Greco and Serge Gainsbourg. (Clive Davis)

Record Buyer and Music Collector 2000

Possessing nothing as dull as orthodox talent...an English Piaf is just what the world needs. (Alan Clayson)

G Scene Magazine August 2000

Barb's interpretation of Brel's Marieke is so beautiful and haunting it's hard not to fall instantly in love with it (Michael Hootman)

The Singer, October cover feature. 2000

Barb Jungr has found her niche, she is superb (Sandra Lawrence)

Culture Wars, 2000

The transmission of sincerity through music is one of the most intangible and difficult challenges a singer can undertake. Jungr, it must be said, rises to the occasion magnificently. Jungr's album is a wonderful thing. (Sandy Star)