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A charming detour into jazz-inflected pop, Duper Sessionsis a fresh, back-to-basics collection of songs that showcases a more intimate side of this gifted singer-songwriter. Inspired by Chet Baker, Caetano Veloso and even David Lynch, Duper Sessions transports the listener into a different time and place, filled with melody and romanticism. Featuring classic-sounding originals plus covers of songs by Elvis Costello, Cole Porter and Prefab Sprout's Paddy McAloon, Duper Sessionsis Sondre Lerche's tribute to the music he loves. Astralwerks. 2006.
An extremely young Norwegian-born singer-songwriter-guitarist-bandleader, Lerche has already exhibited a remarkably strong flair for sophisticated pop composition and a talent for witty lyrics. But by moving his previous preference for judiciously applied jazz inflections into the forefront, making the condiment into the main course, so to speak, he risks stepping into some awfully big shoes. His pleasantly reedy tenor voice sometimes surprises with distant, disembodied echoes of Mel Tormé or even a Chet Baker-esque croon around the edges and his aplomb as an instrumentalist remains notable. However, even though jazz is no longer strictly about geography, like many artists who did not grow up within the roots system, Lerche seems to approaching it from the outside in. Even so, the band is tight and despite a prevailing rhythmic stiffness, there is clearly a wryly playful musical intellect at work here. Maybe all Lerche really needs is time. Seasoning comes when it will and despite his many gifts, he simply hasn't yet lived nearly long or hard enough to adequately interpret a Cole Porter tune like "Night And Day." --Christina Roden
Top customer reviews
The CD cover, designed to look something like an old Blue Note album, gives a strong indication what you are getting into before you even hear the first note.
The jumpy piano intro to "Everyone's Rooting For You" sets the jazzy tone of the album from the start, and after that you in for quite a pleasant ride. "Minor Detail" contains some great word play, and "You Sure Look Swell" sounds like a song that's been around for years.
Those who have seen Lerche in concert before have probably already heard him perform Cole Porter's "Night and Day." This version is quite similar to his live version. It's great to finally have this on record.
Lerche frequently talks about how much both Elvis Costello and Steely Dan have influenced his music, and their influence is quite obvious on this album. (As well as his other two full-lenght records) One key difference is that Lerche's work is never quite as dark as either Costello or Steely Dan - and he does this without sounding cheesy or daft, which is probably one of the hardest tricks to pull of in music.
And given his output so far - an album in 2002, an E.P. in 2003, an album in 2004, a jazz album already this year, and a rock record to follow soon, Lerche is quickly becoming one of the most prolific artists of his generation - something he shares with Costello. (Not to mention the versatility in style they also share)