PRESS-ANA (BABEL 2014)
“With a jazz-edged mix of her native Sweden’s folk songs and classic singer-songwriter sensibilities, Emilia Mårtensson has become one of the most distinctive singers on the UK scene in recent years. First gaining attention through her ongoing work with the award-winning Kairos 4tet, and now back with her self-assured and shimmering second solo album, Ana, the effervescent singer talks to Peter Quinn about her love of the dark side of her folkloric roots and her highly personal take on bringing the art of song and jazz together…”
The Jazz Breakfast Review
“There is a lovely feel to the whole album with lots of space in Alex Bonney’s recording for Mårtensson’s smoky tones to swirl about unhindered. And that theme, including a return of the title tune later on, gives it great cohesion while still leaving room for variation. So Joe Henderson’s Black Narcissus, to which she adds her own lyrics, gives Mårtensson the chance to take flight and swing at the same time, and Paul Simon’s Everything Put Together Falls Apart reflects her love of the great ’70s singer-songwriters…
All About Jazz Review
“…Skillfully arranged with artful touches by The Fable String Quartet, the music is immediately enchanting, bewitching, and approachable. The title track, written for her Slovenian grandmother is a melancholy ballad of remembrance woven with a tinge of kinfolk sound. Mårtensson is a fan of 1970s pop covering, as she did on her previous disc, Paul Simon. Here it is “Everything Put Together Falls Apart” delivered in a spoken/sung bluesy manner not unlike that of Rickie Lee Jones with Green and Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale flavouring the blues with authentic spices…” READ HERE
“…I’ll take impeccable taste in vocal styling over histrionic showboating any day of the week, so if you’re anything like me you’ll find Emilia Mårtensson’s sophomore album Ana, which follows 2012’s And So It Goes… debut with forty-one minutes of new material by the London-based, Swedish singer, very much to your liking….”READ HERE
THE GUARDIAN****- Martensson's casually confident timing and childlike dreaminess make an entrancing meditation out of the title track"...
..."Paul Simon's Everything Put Together Falls Apart works perfectly with Martensson's ability to suggest an inner conversation on which she hadn't noticed anyone listening in. A subtle set from a very imaginative singer"...
The Observer: 'fresh and immediate' ****
Critics have described Emilia Mårtensson's voice as ethereal, delicate and having "pearly innocence", all of which is true. But she has other qualities which save her from sounding bland or passive. She has a very sharp sense of time and the alertness to her fellow musicians that distinguishes jazz singers from the rest. Whether it's a Swedish folk song, one of her own pieces or a tune by jazz saxophonist Joe Henderson, this is what makes each of these 10 numbers fresh and immediate. Pianist Barry Green and bassist Sam Lasserson are outstanding too.'READ HERE
..."We couldn’t in good conscience sign off this issue without singing the praises of the gorgeous second album from Emilia Martensson. Ana, again proves that Martensson has something very special to offer and the album is a thing of simple beauty"... READ HERE
THE JAZZMAN-..."Unapologetically reflective and melancholy “Ana” is a beautiful record full of subtle nuances, a perfect mood piece. Martensson’s voice is gently expressive and she sings with a quiet gravitas and great maturity"...
JAZZWISE REVIEW ++++ -Immensely subtle arrangements, exquisitely beautiful songs, and, at its centre, a voice of quite remarkable expressive depth. With her second album, the Londonbased Swedish vocalist Emilia Mårtensson has struck gold. Coloured by the use of strings (the excellent Fable String Quartet) and percussion, and featuring a core band that gets to the very heart of the music, the various streams of Mårtensson’s artistry – Swedish folk songs, singer-songwriters and jazz – are subtly drawn together into a profoundly satisfying whole. Named after her Slovenian grandmother, the otherworldly opening to the title track sees the singer’s voice floating ethereally over beautifully sustained string chords.
LONDON JAZZ NEWS-INTERVIEW.
Swedish-Slovenian singer EMILIA MÅRTENSSON won a Parliamentary Jazz Award in 2016. Alison Bentley caught up with after her gig at the 2017 INNtoene Jazz Festival in Austria.
JAZZ DA GAMA- ..."It is not that the singer is sad all the time, but she is able to—because she is only part human and part music sprite that she seems not only to wrap her emotions around the music, but also to inhabit that spectral dimension; a place in the spirit world that only those with a transcendent singing ability are admitted"...
..."Emilia Mårtensson magically seems to form a musical continuum with the folk musicians of her native Sweden, while inhabiting the jazz idiom of today. This in itself is unique. There are only a handful of vocalists who belong to this species: such as Abbey Lincoln of America, Lucia Pulido of Columbia"... READ HERE
ALL ABOUT JAZZ- ..."the music is immediately enchanting, bewitching, and approachable"...
AP REVIEWS- MUSICAL DISCOVERIES are, I believe, waymarkers on a lifetime’s journey of appreciation and enjoyment of the artistic creativity that those blessed with a talent bestow upon us. Once experienced, they stay with us forever, evoking memories of the first unexpected rush of exhilaration that touched our soul.
YSTAD ALLEHANDA, (SWE)-..."Sensationen är dock – jag upprepar – Emilia Mårtensson, i duoformat på väg åt sitt helt egna håll inom (jazz)sången och med jazztrion en mer vanlig jazzsångerska fast med exakt tonträff, perfekt rytmik och andhämtning som en lärka"...
LIRA, (SWE) FULL ARTICLE- Emilia knyter an till rötterna. Skånska jazzsångerskan Emilia Mårtensson
har inte bara hittat hem och karriär i England.
Nu knyter hon an till sina slovenska rötter och tillägnar skivan Ana sina morföräldrar.
LIRA, Review, (SWE)- Nu har sångerskan Emilia Mårtensson verkligen fått ihop det med pianisten Barry Green. Ja, även med Sam Lasserson, kontrabas, och Adriano Adewale, rytminstrument. Fast det är framför allt röstens och tangenternas toner och rytmer som samsjungspelar nära och kärvänligt intill, inspirerar och föder varann.