She was a new one on us, Norwegian jazz singer Karin Krog. Over the last five decades she’s been treating, and educating, and thrilling jazz fans across Scandanavia to her way out post-bop spiritual jazz, bringing together the experimental worlds of electronics and jazz to create something rather special, but maybe hidden (or is that ignored) by the wider world (guilty.). Not totally our fault, as her albums weren’t available here, or in the US until 1994, a criminal shame as she had her first band as early as 1963.
Now, in conjunction with those fantastic people at Light in the Attic, one of our favourite labels, Karin herself has helped to pick out some of the highlights from her extensive career. And she’s not ready to retire just yet either. Karin Krog remains productive, recording, performing, and running Meantime records from her and husband John’s villa near Oslo. Now 77, she’s showing no signs of slowing down. “Everybody has to retire at some point, but I believe that once a musician, you’re always a musician,” she says. “If I can’t stand up and sing on stage anymore, I can always do it sitting down!”
Taking material from some of her iconic records, including 1968’s groundbreaking Joy, and 1970’s Dexter Gordon collaboration Some Other Spring, it also includes her pop-jazz masterwork 1974’s We Could Be Flying, tracks from the Japanese only Different Days, Different Ways which focus on 1970-72 experimental vocal works, as well as previously unreleased tracks. A truly career wide collection of songs.
From the collection, check out We Could Be Flying, which mixes up the experimental and the spiritual, into something soulful yet somehow Euopean sounding, and dominated by Karin Krogs fantastic vocal. Yes, she was a new one on us, but now we’re hooked. Brian it on.
Karin Krog anthology ‘Don’t Just Sing – An Anthology 1963-1999’ is out on June 30th.