Soren Siegumfeldt String Swing - This Is Meschiya Lake - CD/LP
Soren Siegumfeldt first encountered Meschiya Lake in the documentary 'True Family' - a challenging film about a girl who plays traditional jazz with her band on the streets of New Orleans. When Hurricane Katrina strikes and the floods destroy everything, the road back is long and harrowing. It's a struggle against a natural disaster, against euphoric drugs, and much more. It's hard not to feel strong emotion when the unbreakable practitioners of the city's proudest traditions once again stand in the French Quarter, as Meschiya's voice fills up the streets, while swing dancers give their all and tourists film, clueless as to the drama that has unfolded just before.
Meschiya Lake is one of the best singers in New Orleans. Many years of hard work have resulted in her rise to the top in a city where the competition among musicians is famously tough. Leading up to the recording with String Swing, Meschiya and her small family stayed with Soren Siegumfeldt for a warm and sunny week in Copenhagen. Meschiya is a woman with a lot of heart, so the song-writing came to them easily as they composed half the material for the album together during that time.
String Swing started as a series of Django Reinhardt tribute jam sessions in a colonial garden house on the island of Amager. Fast forward more than a few years, and only the bandleader (Soren Siegumfeldt) and guitarist Jacob Fischer are still present from the early days - the other musicians here include the exciting rhythm section from Six City Stompers.
Clarinettist Peter Fuglsang, and trumpeter Bjorn Ingelstam both play brilliantly on Nick Cave's dark 'Up Jumped The Devil', an arrangement that brings to mind how it might have sounded if Duke Ellington had gotten his hands on it. On the song 'Lungs', Townes van Zandt's beautiful but sad story, Moslem Rahal (known as perhaps Syria's best bamboo flute player) creates magic on both neo and kaval flutes.
And last but certainly not least, there is the original creator of the project, Soren Siegumfeldt, moving freely between sub-genres of jazz, with the abilities to mine musical gold from unexpected places and cover lots of spiritual ground. He always conveys elements of fun, but never without meaning or emotional depth. The music is immediately captivating, but always retains a wistful honesty, whether he is reaching for the whimsical or dramatic.