Kristin Korb, Finding Home (Double K)
Korb, whose singing matches the high quality of her bass playing, releases Finding Home after previewing some of its pieces this summer at the Ystad Jazz Festival in Sweden. The nine songs she wrote for the album recount the changes in her life after she moved in 2011 from Los Angeles to Denmark, her new husband’s native land. Most of them project celebration, optimism and the elation of new love. A samba, “It’s Spring,” has a lyric that includes, “Something in my heart I cannot contain/Light and joy depleting all the dark and pain.”
Yet, the pain lingers. Over the insistence of a New Orleans street beat in “Happy For Me,” she gives her voice an edge and addresses her family back home; “Why can’t you be happy for me. Come on and be happy for me/You know you wanna be happy for me. Why can’t you ever be happy for me?” The amusing “Up Again” traces Korb’s determination to master pronunciation of the notoriously tricky Danish language. The bluesy title tune concludes, “With no drama, no fuss/Ain’t nobody here but the band and us/And how am I finding it?/I’m finding home.”
Among the chapters of Korb’s autobiographical story-telling, the album opens up generously for improvisation by the bassist, a protégé of Ray Brown, and eight sidemen who appear in various combinations. Her rhythm section companions on all tracks are pianist Magnus Hjorth and drummer Snorre Kirk, the young Danes who accompanied her to great effect in Ystad. Other Københavners who solo impressively are tenor saxophonist Karl-Martin Almqvist, guitarists Jacob Fischer and Paul Halberg, trumpeter Gerard Presencer, and a wonderfully blowsy trombonist named Steen Nikolaj Hansen. They reinforce the impression that Scandinavian musicians today are among the most interesting jazz players anywhere. Finding home, Korb finds herself in good company.