'You do not need to understand Icelandic to appreciate the magnificence of Kristjana's voice. In addition to her singing, Fagra Verold also showcases Gunnlaugs' highly sophisticated and articulate pianism as well as her lyrical and thoughtful compositions, which range between simple statements of melody and more complex platforms for exploration. But they always always exhibit logic and beauty.' - All About Jazz 'Fagra veröld' (Beautiful World, in English) is a collection of original music by the band leader written to the Icelandic Poetry of Tómas Gudmundsson, Steinn Steinarr, Sigurbjörg Thrastardóttir and Gunnlaugs herself. The band features Icelanders Kristjana Stefánsdóttir on vocals, Sigurdur Flosason on saxophone, Sunna Gunnlaugs on piano and two Americans, Drew Gress on bass and Scott McLemore on drums. The CD has been nominated by the Icelandic music awards as the year´s best jazz CD. Proclaimed an 'impressive newcomer' by the Village Voice. Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs' playing and composition fuse her native Icelandic folk music with jazz, as the Washington Post described it, 'such timeless virtues as lyricism and grace.... elegantly bridges soul-searching passages with uncluttered swing.' The charming, sometimes climactic, sometimes tranquil new sounds appeal to jazzers and non-jazzers alike. Fresh and bright, hear why Time Out New York says Sunna 'is proof that jazz is as much a part of the picture as the pop of Björk or SigurRos.' A native of Iceland, Sunna has found a way to make music that people on both sides of the Atlantic can relate to. Highly influenced by such American pianists as Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, and Scandinavians like Bobo Stenson, her music has developed it's own charming brand of romantic lyricism, riding atop a driving American rhythm section. She has performed in 10 states in the US and at Canada's major jazz festivals. Her tours in Europe, have met with critical acclaim in such publications as Jazz Podium, Concerto, Stereo and Jazzman. Her second CD 'Mindful' was chosen as one of the top 10 CDs of the year by the Virginian Pilot.
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