A Night at the Symphony

Laufey, vocals; Iceland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hugh Brunt



A Night at the Symphony sees release this week. Jazz artist Laufey performs a varied program in a concert performance with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hugh Brunt. It consists of previously released songs off her debut album Everything I Know About Love and 2021 EP Typical of Me, standards, and Icelandic jazz artist Elly Vilhjálms’ “Ég Veit Þú Kemur. Hearing a jazz ballad sung in Icelandic is a new experience for me. Vilhjálms’ style and the arrangement are indebted to Kurt Weill.

The hit tune, “Valentine,” displays the characteristics of Laufey’s voice, with suave phrasing and a warm tone. Laufey accompanies herself on the cello on “I Wish You Love,” using pizzicatos to create a bluesy progression. Her rendition of “The Nearness of You” demonstrates an awareness of swing that often places the vocal ahead and behind of the beat in a fluid rendition. “Every Time We Say Goodbye” is a valedictory staple. Here Laufey displays her awareness of expert predecessors who sang the American Songbook, Ella Fitgerald notable among them. A Night at the Symphony, a retro revival of swing and standards, is an excellent introduction to an artist coming into her own.