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Review: Juusk, Juusk

[Ta:lik (2011)]

Juusk is the duo of vocalist Inga Juuso and percussionist Harald Skullerud. Jusso is from the Kautokeino region of Norway and one of the leading performers of Joik, the traditional Sami form of song. She is both an actor, a TV and Radio host, and performs Joik with a number of different jazz, world, and traditional musicians. Skullerud is a noted world music percussionist who has studied in Africa and the Middle East.

Joik is a form of chanting where the performer attempts to transfer the essence of a person or place into song. There are many examples of this here, with Joiks about persons, places, animals (crows and wolves), and nature. It’s very rhythmic and flowing music, driven along by Skullerud’s driving sense of percussion and Jusso’s hypnotic voice. Jusso’s work is very rooted in tradition, but often with a modern sound and spirit. It’s music full of improvising and life. Her work with jazz bassist Steinar Raknes and in the group Barut, where she’s joined by a drummer and electric guitarist, is also well worth investigating.

This is a fine example of an ancient form of music adapting itself to the modern world and loosing nothing in the transition.

—Jim Lee (Simi Valley, CA)

Inga Jusso with bassist Steinar Rakes:


One comment on “Review: Juusk, Juusk

  1. It has a very similar quality to chant singing in many cultures particularly that practiced by many Native American groups and even tonally similar to the Australian aboriginal music. I note that some folks just resort to something similar when we are unconsiously singing no particular identifiable song. .It seems to have a soothing effect. That and melodious languages make me wonder if singing predated speaking.

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