Lento Youn Sun Nah
- 4Empty Dream04:20
- 5Momento Magico05:31
- 6Soundless Bye03:44
- 7Full Circle03:35
- 8Ghost Riders in the Sky04:57
- 11New Dawn03:41
Info for Lento
With her universal yet individual style Youn Sun Nah gives traditional vocal jazz a new flavour, while unconventionally and effortlessly exploring new exciting spaces. She is one of the most outstanding representatives of vocal jazz that includes the whole spectrum of contemporary music.
Female singers who manage to stir a whole genre are seldom found. Diana Krall and Norah Jones are such outstanding talents who gave vocal jazz a whole new colour, and Korean singer Youn Sun Nah has been equally phenomenal. In the last few years she has conquered the music world with her albums “Voyage” (2009) and “Same Girl” (2010) released on ACT.
“A miracle“, “a great piece of art“, “enchanting” “a world-class singer” – just some of the overwhelmingly positive responses from the press to these albums. Within two years Nah had received her fourth “Korean Music Award”, the BMW World Jazz Award and the ECHO Jazz Award for best international female singer whilst in France, her second home, “Same Girl” was the best selling jazz album of the year in 2011, Nah received the “Prix Mimi Perrin du Jazz Vocal“ as female vocalist of the year, the leading magazine “Jazzman“ awarded her with “Choc de l'annee 2012” as artist of the year and she was granted the title of nobility “Chevalier de l‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the culture secretary, putting her in the prominent company of such stars as David Bowie, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Dustin Hoffman.
What is the secret of her remarkable success? Her new album “Lento” gives an explanation by combining Youn Sun Nah’s unique qualities. One of them is the blending of different cultural and musical sources, in a respectful yet unconventional manner. Besides jazz and related styles, she draws on chanson, pop and folk music, and in addition to compositions by herself and her band members, there is the extremely light version of the Korean folk song “Arirang” as well as “Hurt” by the alternative rock band Nine Inch Nails, and Stan Jones’ “Ghost Riders In The Sky”, a classic country song made famous by Johnny Cash.
For the first time Nah also calls upon European classical music: Alexander Skrjabin’s Prelude op. 16 Nr. 4 in E minor with its tempo indication ”Lento” was a source of inspiration for the album’s title, and it also sets up an intimate, atmospheric and harmonious musical world. Youn Sun Nah unfolds her expressive power especially in the peaceful and slow-paced moments – on the fragile chanson “Full Circle”, with heartbreaking grievance on “Lament” or artistic unison singing on “Momento Magico”.
On “Lento” it becomes more apparent that Nah’s voice ties the songs together. It is the precision of her intonation and phrasing, great timing and crystal voice that enable her to turn minimalistic forms into powerful emotions, pure elegance and magic. All this requires extremely subtle and considerate co-musicians, therefore the successful lineup from “Same Girl” was the first choice for “Lento” as well: Nah’s longstanding duet partner Ulf Wakenius on guitar, Lars Danielsson on bass and Xavier Desandre-Navarre on percussions. The fourth member of the band is new - the French accordion magician Vincent Peirani. Two pieces on “Lento” were written by him and, similarly to Youn Sun Nah, his variations and ideas seem to emerge from an inner voice, which is one of the reasons why there is perfect interaction between the two musicians.
Youn Sun Nah, vocals
Ulf Wakenius, guitars
Lars Danielsson, bass & cello
Vincent Peirani, accordion & accordina
Xavier Desandre-Navarre, percussion
Recorded at Nilento Studio, Gothenburg, Sweden, October 31 - November 2
Mixed December 4 - 7 and mastered December 19, 2012
by Lars Nilsson, assisted by Michael Dahlvid
Produced by Youn Sun Nah & Axel Matignon
Executive Producer: JJ In
Youn Sun Nah
(born on August 28, 1969 in Seoul/Korea) grew up in a musical family: her father was a conductor, her mother a classical singer. She made her musical debut as a singer at age 23 with a concert with the Korean Symphony Orchestra, and went on to perform in numerous Korean musicals on a national stage, for which she has received numerous awards.
However, she did not find that musical environment fulfilling. She decided to go to Paris in 1995 to study jazz and French chanson at the CIM school (one of the oldest jazz schools in Europe), at the National Music Institute of Beauvais, and at the Nadia and Lili Boulanger Conservatory. Her innate talent for jazz revealed itself when she started playing in Parisian jazz clubs with her group, the Youn Sun Nah 5tet. She made her rounds on the Paris club scene, performances that would earn her invitations to work with many famous musicians. Youn Sun Nah made strong showing in a number of jazz competitions like La Défense, St. Maur, and Montmartre. She became the buzzword in theatres and festivals all over France, while also performing in Korea, essentially managing simultaneous careers in two countries.
Producing five albums in six years, she held numerous performances in France, Europe, and in Asia including Korea. Such vigorous activity would earn her an award as “Best Artist” in the Crossover category in Korea in 2004. The same year, the release of So I Am... was widely celebrated by French audiences as well as the press, who regarded her as one of the most remarkable singers of this generation. Active touring and musical performances finally came to fruition in the form of the Grand Prize at the highly reputable Jazz à Juan Concours in 2005, in addition to the prize of Best Young Artist Of The Year in Korea. Youn Sun Nah established her position as a premiere jazz artist in the Asian music scene and marketplace with the album Memory Lane, co-produced with Denmark’s top pianist Niels Lan Doky and Korean bassist Kim Jeong-Ryul in 2007. She also earned recognition from the American media and noted personalities from around the world with an invitation and performance at the Jazz at Lincoln Center, which would launch her to world stardom.
She is an artist who never fails to move audiences wherever she may be performing, in Europe, USA, Australia, and Asia. In 2009 ACT has signed her as an exclusive artist. Together with world-famous Swedish artists like Ulf Wakenius and Lars Danielsson she recorded her newest album and ACT-debut, VOYAGE (ACT 9019-2), which will be released by ACT in May 2009.