Rebekka Bakken

“Things You Leave Behind”

(Okeh); Jazz/blues

By ​Phil ​Bennett

Blessed with a three octave voice, Norway’s Rebekka Bakken has just put out her 15th album, and it certainly belies her categorisation as a jazz singer.

Here you’ll find a veritable kaleidoscope of styles – some soul, some blues, some pop and some folk. Oh yes, and a touch of jazz.

A musical beachcomber of sorts, she has built up a fascinating collection of handcrafted delights and curios, an approach that bears particularly sweet and juicy fruit.

Creating some vivid tales and presenting them with her enigmatic vocal style, her songs are carved out with one ear for the experimental and the other keenly attuned to the simple, straight to the core, melody.

The songs are hers and their presentation is quite unique, with her slightly Teutonic vowel fracture, combined with a delightfully wicked wordplay wit.

From the rambling back alleys of New Orleans, she drags out Black Shades and rolls it around a bit before casting it aside for some Weimar Republic polka on the rasping title track.

Other highlights include an understated reading of Time After Time, the sensually swaggering Yankee Days, the lovely True North and the four scotches too many Shelter.

Well worth investigating, Rebekka Bakken has spent most of her career trying to get away from the jazz tag, and Things You Leave Behind is simply a great album by an extremely talented singer/songwriter.


​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.