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 has accompanied Etta at countless venues– small and large – with large orchestras, trios and quartets, 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 car en 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 with the best possible line‐up. And so it came to be: Bassist Klavs Hovman and saxophonist Jens Søndergaard ‐ both regulars in Etta’s bands for years – were ready. Marilyn Mazur and Palle Mikkelborg were equally enthusiastic.And so Nikolaj started arranging for this particular line‐up. In May 2009, Etta and the musicians were ready to visit Copenhagen’s Sun Studios and 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 many years of experience behind her puts all her interpretive powers on the line. The production gives us a close‐up on Etta and her wonderful voice, as she invites us under the skin of the tunes and breathes a vibrant proximity into the lyrics. You will be astounded at the almost minimalistic framework, which enables Etta and a handful of Denmark’s leading musicians to strip each song to the bone.
Vocalists may compete for attention, but nothing beats experience,and when combined with breathtaking honesty, a sublime listening experience is right around the corner ‐ as on this CD featuring a genuine diva.
Etta Cameron (vocal) - Nikolaj Hess (piano) - Palle Mikkelborg (trumpet, flygel) -Jens Søndergaard (sax, clarinet) - Klavs Hovman (bass) - Marilyn Mazur (drums, perc).