"The second skin of a voice"
Münchner Abendzeitung, 5./6.10.2002
Enthralling Duo: Rebekka Bakken and Wolfgang Muthspiel on target for songwriting
A captivating encounter between Oslo, Vienna and New York. In America, their adopted home, Norwegian singer Rebekka Bakken and Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel met some years ago – and they have become a song-duo, which is transcending all categories in a very open-minded way. All lyrical shades between jazz and classical singer-songwriter-style can be found on their latest CD ("beloved”, material records MRE 004-2), where they, in contrast to their first album "Daily Mirror”, work without additional musicians. That is what makes the project exceedingly attractive. The pieces turned into very intimate dialogues (mainly their own compositions) and if the title of the CD is to be understood as a tender letter, then the songs are the according messages to it.
They sound wonderful. Especially when Rebekka Bakken plays with her strength: the singer has a voice more folk-like than jazz-like, she knows how to create strong atmospheres with soft ornamentations and how to move from fragility to wild expressiveness.
This is when a Norwegian folksong of the 18th century turns into an enthralling musical drama. Wolfgang Muthspiel turns out to be the partner of the singer’s dreams. The son of a highly musical Austrian family (his brother Christian, trombonist and pianist, is also internationally known) handles everything from the classical guitar to the blues-, rock- and latest jazz idiom with the highest virtuosity.
He embraces Rebekka Bakken’s singing with accompaniments, which seem like a second skin of her voice. There is still room for some improvisation, though. Muthspiel composed extremely beautiful melodies for this CD and even the most intuitive ones do not end up as simple pop music. A CD for many kinds of music fans: Jazz-lovers, adorers of songwriters and guitar-freaks.