Sinne Eeg and Thomas Fonnesbæk: Staying in Touch review – a great Danish double act

The seamless interplay between Eeg’s vocals and Fonnesbæk’s double bass makes for unlikely but happy listening

I honestly think that Danish singer Sinne Eeg must be one of the best jazz vocalists alive today, although I confess I haven’t heard them all. She just seems so at home with the idiom, no striving for effect, always in control. I last heard her with the Danish Radio Big Band, and now with this brilliant bassist Thomas Fonnesbæk, and the impression is the same. It’s an unlikely combination, voice and double bass. With no piano or guitar to provide the harmonies, and no drummer to take care of the time, it calls for exceptional skill and mutual understanding. Think of them not as singer and accompanist, but as two equal voices, and their combined inventiveness will keep you happily listening for the album’s full 50 minutes.

These 11 tracks include compositions by them both, plus songs ranging from Irving Berlin to the Beatles, Thelonious Monk to Joni Mitchell. Eeg brings exactly the right touch to everything, occasionally breaking into a wordless scat chorus that raises faint echoes of Ella Fitzgerald. Meanwhile, Fonnesbaek’s acoustic bass, fluent and melodic, with a touch of sly humour, keeps them both effortlessly airborne.