Nana Rashid: Music for Betty

Editor's Choice

Rating: ★★★★

Record and Artist Details


Nana Rashid (v)
Lasse Jacobsen (d)
Benjamin Nørholm Jacobsen (p)
Martin Brunbjerg Rasmussen (b)


April Records


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Rec. 17-19 January 2022

This hugely impressive debut album from Danish vocalist Nana Rashid follows her well-received four-track EP, Sorrow in Sunlight, which she released in 2016. A judicious mix of standards and originals, the Rashid opener ‘Poor Blue Betty’ possesses a smouldering intensity which sets the tone for the entire album. A sorrowing tale of unrequited love, the hauntingly beautiful ‘Goodbye My Love’ is a standout, with the understated, hypersensitive accompaniment of the Danish jazz piano trio Little North adding greatly to the intimate atmosphere. Written by Peggy Lee and Victor Young, and the title track of the 1954 film of the same name starring Joan Crawford, ‘Johnny Guitar’ creates a musical diptych with ‘Goodbye My Love’ in terms of its sepulchral mood, in which pianist Jacobsen deftly creates a plucked, guitar-like timbre by stopping the piano strings. Written by Rashid and Jacobsen and propelled by Lasse Jacobsen's supremely tight groove, the powerful ‘Mother, Father’ is a song about cultural identity and trying to figure out where you belong, with Rashid intoning the solacing refrain, “Love will carry me to where I’m free, I know for sure”. We also get to hear transfixing performances of the Sade Adu/Andrew Hale song ‘Pearls’ and the Rashid original ‘They Call It Love’, which calls out the casual sexism which is still rife within the industry.

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