Norwegian vocalist Inger Marie’s secondsolo album BY MYSELF is a worthy followupto her successful debut cd MAKE THISMOMENT. 45-year old Inger Marie waitedmany years before venturing into a solocareer, but more than twenty years asan active vocalist have provided her withample experience in the music field.
“I started singing in public when I wasquite young. I loved to perform, and I triedout different styles and musical genres.For six years I was the lead singer of alocal big band, and later on I led my ownjazz quintet.”
In 2004, after many years of experienceand paying dues, Inger Marie finally decidedto record her debut CD, MAKE THISMOMENT. “The time was right, I had theright musicians, and after all these yearsI felt my singing had matured into a voiceof my own.
”In fact, at her first recording session, IngerMarie disclosed a voice so controlled,beautiful and personal that listeners wereleft with their mouths open, stunned inadmiration of her presence, warmth anddirect communicative abilities.MAKE THIS MOMENT was released inNorway in October 2004, and receivedrave reviews and instant recognition.Soon Inger Marie’s voice touched heartsand impressed music lovers in places farfrom Norway. Japanese record buyers discoveredher album, which started sellingin hundreds, then in thousands. Recordcompanies in Korea, The Philippines,Hong Kong, and soon Japan, released thealbum. It has now been released in mostof Asia as well as in Europe, reaching thehearts and souls of thousands of listenersand selling close to 100.000 units.
“For many years I learned a lot by singingother people’s songs, and trying to copymy favorite vocalists. I think this is a verygood and normal way to learn and gainmusical experience. But eventually I feltthe need to express music and songs inmy own way. And I felt safe and comfortablewith that decision.”
Inger Marie has built a solid relationshipbased on mutual respect with several musiciansfrom the surprisingly high quality poolof players in and around her home town,and has hand-picked the musicians for herband. They provide the exquisite backingon her recordings, as well as on stage.
On piano you hear Oscar Jansen, a verypopular musician, and a prolific painter inaddition to his musical activities.“Oscar is an ingenious musician with aunique way of phrasing and creating theright mood with his playing.”
Ole Kelly Kvamme is an active freelancebass player. He also works as a musicteacher. “Ole’s depth and warm sound onhis old acoustic double-bass is no lessthan brilliant.”
Geir Aage Johnsen is a very original drummerwith his own unique style. “Geir is myfavorite drummer ever… He always comesup with lots of ideas for arrangements.“
The saxophone player Oivind G. Stoemerworks as a music teacher and freelancemusician. He is also Inger Marie’s son.“I really like his sound and his lyrical style.”
On her second album, BY MYSELF, IngerMarie chose to work with the renownedDanish producer Søren Sigumfeldt. Theyrecorded the album at Nilento Studio,Gothenburg, Sweden. Inger Marie’s handpickedgroup of local Norwegian musiciansare joined by Swedish guitar virtuosoUlf Wakenius, known from OscarPeterson’s trio. Other guest performers include Norwegian trumpeter GunnarHalle, Danish electric guitarist NiclasKnudsen, and Norwegian vocalist RasmusSolem.
Life influences all of us in one way or another,and I believe my experiences in life arereflected in the way I express my songs. Iwant to express something genuine in thesongs I perform, and I hope to touch otherpeople’s hearts. It’s not my intention toimpress my audience with lots of vocal skills,but rather I hope to express something honestand trustworthy through my singing.That’s the most important thing for me.”
BY MYSELF is easy to listen to, but hard toforget. The music is smooth, but far fromsaccharine or superficial. The honesty inInger Marie’s husky voice is unmistakable.You believe her. The words mean something- she can’t sing a song without meaningit. Whether it’s a jazz standard or a poptune, she delivers the lyrics as if she hadexperienced and written every word. Shedoesn’t waste time pressing her voice orusing a heavy vibrato, she lets the musicspeak for itself with a dusty, velvety feel…and a voice that won’t let go of you. This isthe sound of a mature woman telling herstories with no regrets.“
My main focus is on perfecting my ownpersonal style. And maybe I’m a little oldfashioned, because I remain faithful togood, solid melodies and songs. That suitsme fine. To me, the most important thing inmaking a new album is having somethingon my mind that I want to share. It’s importantto have a good connection with theband, producer and record company duringthe process, and, lastly, hopefully bewell-received by the public. But the mostimportant thing for me, is the joy of creatingmusic and expressing myself throughsinging songs”.