Exceptional Weill interpretations.
With their new album, Weill Variations, Music for a while presents a solid and refreshing take on the bitter, satirical, and beautiful ballads and songs of Kurt Weill. Music for a while consists of five young, acknowledged and prominent figures from the Norwegian jazz and pop scene: Tora Augestad, Stian Carstensen, Mathias Eick, Martin Taxt, and Pål Hausken. Together, they have their own personal and intense interpretations of Weill's unique material.
Kurt Weill wrote cabaret songs, ranging from harsh broadside ballads to languorous show tunes, tragic love songs to humorous songs about people's destinies. The material is written in interwar Berlin, Paris and the United States after Weill's escape from the Nazi regime.
Tora Augestads voice and delivery are ideal for Weill's cabaret style but flexible enough to deal naturally with a context where the written and the improvised go hand-in-hand.
Ray Comiskey, The Irish Times
The casting of Augestad is brilliant, conveying a wide spectrum of feelings with an arresting charisma, intelligence, playfulness and charm.
Eyal Hareuveni, All about jazz
Tora Augestad durchlebt und durchleidet ihre Lieder mit einem Maximum an stimmlichen wie darstellerischen Möglichkeiten.
(…) Von ihren intelligenten Variationen der Refrains wäre hier auch für versierte Brecht-Sängerinnen noch manches zu lernen. Ihre charmanten Moderationen aber sind unkopierbar.
VON ANDREAS HILLGER, Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
At one of the festival's opening soirees Svante Henryson had mixed the habanera from Carmen with 'Waltz for Debbie' by Bill Evans, in a duo with the fabulous, operatically-trained jazz singer Tora Augestad.
Augestad also fronted what for me was one of the festival's great hits: the sort-of-supergroup Music For A While, with Stian Carstensen on both accordion and pedal steel guitar, Mathias Eick on trumpet, Martin Taxt on tuba, and the drummer Pal Hausken (of In The Country). Pairing a selection of Brecht/Weill and cabaret songs from their previous album, Weill Variations, with almost the whole of their latest release, Graces That Refrain, dedicated to re-arrangements of renaissance and baroque music by Dowland, Purcell and Handel, the band created a unique amalgam of sensitive, chamber-jazz in the accustomed Norwegian style with full-blooded, and very passionate instrumental and vocal improvisations. Phil Johnson, London Jazz News august 2013