Susanne Abbuehl is a Swiss born jazz singer who happened to live in Los Angeles for awhile in her earlier years studying music. After discovering the wondrous beauty of Abbuehl’s recent ECM album The Gift, I looked at this 2006 album, Compass.
Compass is a fascinating album taking you on a cerebral voyage. It draws on material perhaps even more eclectic than the Bronte / Dickinson / Teasdale poetry featured in the recent album, The Gift. There is poetry by Kentucky folk singer John Jacob Niles (“Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair”, Sun Ra (“A Call for All Demons”), a poem from Joyce’s epic novel Finnegan’s Wake (“Sea,Sea!”), Italian composer Luciano Berio’s adaptation of a French folk song (“Lo Fiolairé”), and American poet/doctor William Carlos Williams (“Primrose”). Finally there’s Chick Corea’s lovely “Children’s Song #1” and the Jeanne Lee / Ran Blake and Gil Evans jazz classic, “Where Flamingos Fly”.
The album was produced under the watchful eye of legendary ECM founder Manfred Eicher, with high production standards typical of ECM recordings. This is a another beautiful album by this most creative singer and I cannot recommend it enough.