(Tutl, 2003)

"Run" is a Faroese word meaning "the washing of the small, gentle waves back and forth on the beach," according to the liner notes. With a group name like that, one might expect a new-age kind of ambient recording, but Run's self-titled album is more in the jazz vein.

Run is fronted by Unn Paturson on vocals and piano. Paturson wrote the music and lyrics for many of the album's tracks; there are covers of Sting's "Fragile" and Monk, Williams and Hanighen's "Round Midnight" as well. Paturson is accompanied by Hilmar Jensson on guitars, Anders Jormin on double bass and Rogvi a Rogvu on drums and percussion.

The total effect resembles label-mate Eivor Palsdottir's self-titled solo album; jazz-inflected settings and a female vocalist with an often intimate style. Paturson's album differs from Palsdottir's in that she sings in English as well as Faroese. Paturson's voice has the crystalline clarity often found in the voices of female Nordic singers; her voice is so high-pitched that it could be called childlike. Although this kind of sound can be wearing, Paturson uses her voice to enhance the intimacy of her music. The two cover songs are particularly good examples of this; when "Fragile" is sung by a fragile voice, it adds resonance to the song. A childlike voice also works very well with Paturson's own "Nangijala," inspired by Astrid Lindgren's children's book, The Brothers Lionheart.

The ideal of a woman at the microphone in a smoky jazz club is alive and well in the Faroe Islands. Listeners who prefer a different type of voice will probably find this hard going, but fans of singers like Rickie Lee Jones or Alison Krauss may enjoy Run.

- Rambles
written by Jennifer Hanson
published 11 December 2004

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