Etta Cameron and Nikolaj Hess

Etta Cameron and Nikolaj Hess

Etta Cameron is best known as a gospel vocalist with a contagious enthusiasm, which can distill the ardor in any choir and lead them to rock even the smallest country church.When on the panel of one of TV’s many talent contests, lovable Etta always gives top score to anybody exhibiting the smallest inkling of talent.

But more than anything else, Etta represents Black music. Through a long career she has infused soul, gospel, blues and jazz tunes with her personal touch and richly dark, beautiful voice. All this experience helps shape her interpretation of this impressive string of jazz pearls.

Etta Cameron and Nikolaj Hess have worked closely together for 20 years. Nikolaj hasaccompanied Etta at countless venues – small and large – with large orchestras, trios andquartets, or alone behind the piano. Their mainstay is gospel, but when the chance arises,they love playing a few jazz ballads. Often, they have rehearsed on the backseat of the caren route from one gig to the next, and that is also exactly how this album was born.

Nikolaj and Etta have often discussed recording a selection of especially beautiful tunes withthe best possible line‐up. And so it came to be: Bassist Klavs Hovman and saxophonist JensSøndergaard ‐ both regulars in Etta’s bands for years – were ready. Marilyn Mazur and PalleMikkelborg were equally enthusiastic. And so Nikolaj started arranging for this particularline‐up. In May 2009, Etta and the musicians were ready to visit Copenhagen’s Sun Studiosand bring out the magic in tunes like “What a Wonderful World”, “Smile”, “Careless Love”and many others. The legendary sound wizard Bjarne Hansen engineered the session.

And the magic is unquestionable on this new CD, when the youthful vocalist with manyyears of experience behind her puts all her interpretive powers on the line. The productiongives us a close‐up on Etta and her wonderful voice, as she invites us under the skin of thetunes and breathes a vibrant proximity into the lyrics. You will be astounded at the almostminimalistic framework, which enables Etta and a handful of Denmark’s leading musicians tostrip each song to the bone.

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