«A Room of One’s Own» is the debut EP of Swedish, Gothenburg-based vocalist Sara Aldén. The Virginia Woolf-tinged title corresponds with Aldén’s master’s studies in gendering practices and her role as the vice-chairperson on the board of the non-profit association IMPRA whose main purpose is to support and promote musicians who identify as women, transgender people and non-binaries who are active in jazz and improvisational music. Aldén focuses on her own’s space where her artistic expression can flow freely. She is accompanied by two close friends – pianist August Björn and double bass player Daniel Andersson.
«A Room of One’s Own» was initiated when Aldén set a goal to make peace with her role as a jazz vocalist and as a musician. She insisted on creating her own musical space, a room of her own within the context of American standard music. The EP was recorded in parts and was basically done when Sara and her fellow musicians entered the studio one last time in the fall of 2020. At that time, Georgia was the pending state deciding the future presidency of Donald Trump. As a result, the final recording could only become a fateful epilog and additional remake of «Georgia on My Mind».
This drumless trio suggests an immediate intimacy and highlights the warm voice, highly personal delivery of Aldén and her unique phrasing of every word and tone. Aldén, Björn and Andersson know how to make the iconic standards song stories their own, intimate, with fresh and thoughtful interpretations that stress Aldén’s feminist perspective. The six songs, four of them are standards including «Very Early (You and I)», «Nature Boy», «Georgia on My Mind» (on the epilogue version of the song Aldén keeps chanting the chorus: «Georgia / No peace, no peace I find / Just an old, sweet song / Keeps Georgia on my mind») and «Moon River», are colored in Scandinavian fragile lights and shades, spiced with a touch of melancholy, but performed with a commanding elegance and poetic beauty.
Sara Aldén (v), August Björn (p), Daniel Andersson (b)