Copyright 2001 www.cosmopolis.ch Louis Gerber All
Biography, concert and CD reviews
Lisa Ekdahl sings Salvadore Poe
Article added on July 13, 2001
1994, at the age of 23, the Swedish singer Lisa Ekdahl became famous overnight in her homeland with her debut album and the #1 hit single Vem Vet (Who Knows).
The record sold half a million copies and Lisa was awarded three Swedish music
prizes, one of them as the nation's best artist of the year. In Denmark and
other Scandinavian countries, her album was a success too.
was discovered by a producer at EMI. But in 1996 and 1997, she recorded her
following two pop albums with RCA/BMG:
Med Kroppen Mot
Jorden and Bortom Det Blå.
Then, with When Did You Leave
Lisa switched to jazz and the English language. In
1998, it was a hit in Sweden and in France. She made new fans with it. In
the USA however, it was not greeted with a lot of praise. Her childish voice
was (rightly) considered unsuitable for jazz. Lisa's following album, Back To
Earth (1999), was again full of jazz standards and, like her jazz debut,
recorded with the Peter Nordahl Trio. In France alone, it sold over 40000
copies. Her live appearances in Great Britain were accompanied by positive
feedback, e.g. in the Telegraph
and the Guardian.
sixth album, Lisa Ekdahl
sings Salvadore Poe (2000), testifies to artistic and private changes. On
her flight to India, she met the composer and guitarist
Salvadore Poe. They fell in love and got married. Lisa moved to New York City,
her husband's city.
the new album's title indicates, Lisa exclusively sings songs written by her
husband. It is a nostalgic reference to bossa nova. Her fragile and childish
voice seems to be made for this type of music. That is also reflected in
sales. In France and Scandinavia, were the album was first released,Lisa
Ekdahl Sings Salvadore Poe sold over 120000 copies until early 2001.
was born in New Jersey. He taught himself the guitar and listened a lot to Jimi Hendrix, Bob
Dylan and the Beatles. As a teenager, he had several bands. His parents had a
large jazz and bossa nova collection which influenced him too.
17, Poe went to the famous
College in Boston where he studied guitar and jazz composition. His new
artistic models were Chick Corea,
Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Weather Report, Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin.
In the late 70s and early 80s, U2, The Police and The Cars became new
influences. Poe was a guitarist and songwriter in rock bands in New York and Boston.
the 1990s, Salvadore Poe worked for film and television. He wrote the
soundtrack for the movie The Basketball Diaries
with Leonardo di Caprio. For the music channel VH1 he composed songs for The Rock and Roll Picture Show
and The VH1 Fashion
Awards. He wrote music for CBS' broadcast of the Olympic Winter
Games 1998. He also worked for CNN and the car races in Daytona.
these jobs, Poe took a break and, for inspiration and reflection, traveled to
India. As mentioned above, on the plane, he met Lisa, his future wife. They
discovered their shared love for bossa nova and, as a result, there is the new
album: Lisa Ekdahl Sings
Concert in Zurich, March 24, 2001
Ekdahl's concert in Zurich in March, organized by All Blues, was almost
entirely dedicated to her new album Lisa
Ekdahl sings Salvadore Poe. She was accompanied by her husband, Salvadore Poe,
on guitar, Magnus Lindgren on saxophone and flute, Mathias Algotsson on piano,
Backa-Hans Eriksson on bass and Jonas Holgersson on drums. After her debut in
Zurich in 1998, this was Lisa Ekdahl's second concert in the Swiss economic
capital. This time not in front of 60 people in the intimate
but at the sold out Kaufleuten.
Ekdahl began the evening with Daybreak, the opening title on her new
album. Her voice was as charming as on the CD, only the bossa nova sound of
her band was somewhat blurred.
I Don't Miss You Anymore and its jazzier sound was next. Magnus
Lindgren on saxophone created the necessary warmth. With Sunny Weather,
the bossa nova feeling came back fully.
You've Been Gone brought a dramatic note to the concert. Astonishingly
throughout the entire evening, Lisa's gestures remained in complete contrast
to her singing. She was clumsy, awkward and stiff, her voice however soft,
supple and smooth.
Color of You was, like all the previous songs, from Lisa Ekdahl sings
Salvadore Poe. After a moment, Lisa stepped aside, sat down on a corner
of the scene and listened to her band inflame the public. Once more, Magnus Lindgren
on saxophone was the outstanding man. Then, the singer came back into the now
red spotlight and, with her sweet voice sang a ballad finishing with the
tender words "I will
never be without you".
were a song with a stronger bossa
nova touch and an intimate duet with her husband, who accompanied her on guitar
as well as the song I've Never Seen
Anything Like You in which, unfortunately, the subtle, light and airy
piano playing by
was almost permanently covered by the guitar. In the instrumental part, the saxophone
and the guitar, often alternating, dominated.
Many More Times featured Mathias Algotsson on
piano with jazzier and calmer sounds in the beginning. It was followed by Now or Never,
the first song from the previous album Earth. Stylistically, the song
known from Billie Holiday's version, did not fit in with the bossa nova tunes.
After about one hour and a solo effort on the transverse flute, the last song
was announced, Rivers of Love from Lisa
Ekdahl sings Salvadore Poe. There, the drummer
got his first chance to shine.
a first encore, Lisa offered the sugar-sweet and elegant I Will Be Blessed,
enthusiastically greeted by the public. Her voice was naive and innocent as
always, again best accompanied by the saxophone.
the public's insistence, the band played the beguiling Only You. The
crowd still wanted more and, therefore, it got Now
or Never for a second time because Lisa Ekdahl's bossa nova repertoire
seemed to be limited to the 14 tunes of the new CD. At the very end, she sang
the tender and catchy ballad The Rhythm of Our Hearts, the only title
Ekdahl sings Salvadore Poe not played yet.
is not a divinely gifted singer, but she makes the best out of her
possibilities. Her fragile and delicate voice is best suited for the bossa
novas written by Salvadore Poe. She lacks the necessary improvisation skills
for jazz and, therefore, her future may well lay in the field of popular
music. In any case, Lisa will not be able to use her childish voice in a
credible way for much longer. But as with her bossa nova album, Lisa Ekdahl
may well positively surprise fans and critics alike. According to some of my
Swedish friends, her strength lies in writing lyrics in Swedish.
Lisa Ekdahl sings Salvador Poe.
RCA Victor/BMG, 2000.
Get it from:
- Amazon.de - Amazon.fr - Amazon.co.uk
2. Rivers of Love
3. Sunny Weather
4. Only You
5. The Color Of You
6. How Many More Times
7. I Will Be Blessed
8. Since You've Been Gone
9. I've Never Seen Anything Like You
10. I Don't Miss You Anymore
12. The Rhythm of Our Hearts
13. Sun Rose
14. Of My Conceit