We don’t get many jazz ballads in here so that’s as good a reason as any to listen to the Liv Andrea Hauge Ensemble’s rendition of ‘Again’ for the first time if you see what I mean.
Firstly, a little about her. She is Oslo-based, originally from Mosjøen in Northern Norway. She studied jazz piano at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and has worked with bands such as Kongle Trio and Ladybird Orchestra. In 2022 she released the album ‘Live from St.Hanshaugen’ with the Liv Andrea Hauge Trio, which was highly rated in the jazz fraternity.
The single ‘Again’ is a declaration of love to someone who´s unable to reciprocate the same love even though you keep trying over and over again. It’s always useful to write a song that everyone can relate to. We’ve all been there.
After her first single ‘Follow’ released in February, a minimalistic, floating, ostinato (repeated musically or rhythmically based phrase) track, ‘Again’ has a more pop influenced sound.
If you’re expecting ‘Chirpy chirpy cheep cheep’ out of that ‘pop’ comment, think again. This is as far away from middle of the road as you can get. It’s so laid back it’s as if they threw the Spotify 6-second attention grab rule out of the window. Indeed it sounds like they’re warming up in the first 15 seconds or so.
But once the song gets underway Liv’s compelling vocal will quickly grab you. There’s much atmosphere generated, by her voice, the three-part harmonies, the way she plays her piano (I can imagine it being performed in some New York or LA piano bar just as vocal and keys) and by the various noises off generated by keys, bass and saxophone (which sounds more like a bassoon at times).
They don’t always work for me but they do here.
Speaking of ostinato, there is a piano melody which runs through the song and you can’t shake it off any more than you can shake off your own attraction to the unattainable. I’m not sure if that was deliberate but it feels like that.
I sense it’s the sort of song which should play out a Rom-Com, in the weepy final part. Or, better still, in the unwritten sequel. When Harry left Sally. My Big Fat Greek Divorce. Sleeping it off in Seattle…
Liv is joined by a host of Norway’s finest jazz musicians in her ensemble –
Ragnhild Moan – vocals
Marte Eberson – synth and vocals
Emmeluth Sign – Sax
Torstein Lavik Larsen – trumpet
Fredrik Luhr – Bass
Andreas Winther – Drums
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