Up until three weeks ago, I didn’t know who Steinar Raknes is. Following this review in All About Jazz by Eyal Hareuveni, I learned that he is a Norwegian double bass player. I went to Spotify and searched for this new album ‘StillHouse‘ and was immateriality hooked by his voice and the sound of his double bass.
Automatically, it took me to an image of mashed together John Martyn and Danny Thompson. The new album is a collection of originals, and a few cover versions (Prince, Joni Mitchell), in the safe paths of bluesy-souly worlds, calmed yet powerful and full of delicate presence.
You can feature this album in the classic singer/songwriter category, where you’d put Martyn or Kelly Joe Phelps, but the unusual arrangement of almost entirely solo bass and vocal (aside for occasional guest instruments like harmonica or a drum) throws the album to the far corner of the genre, where the singer/songwriter slowly drifts into the jazz world. That’s a shame, as this is an album deserves to be heard by indie kids.
I’m not familiar with his other works as a musician in bands but no doubt that the discovery of this beautiful album is a gate to world of a wonderful musician, and after all, that’s why we’re here.