|Barb Jungr. Photo credit: Steve Ullathorne|
We interviewed Barb Jungr ahead of her residency at Crazy Coqs (September 30th – October 5th)
LondonJazz News: Why have you called this show This Wheels on Fire?
Barb Jungr: I’d made Hard Rain, and somehow started to think about Dylan and more songs and spell bindings and This Wheel’s On Fire had been on my radar for such a long time – so we started to work on an arrangement, and I thought – I could expand the whole notion of Hard Rain, and include other songs that bring ideas of dislocation and philosophy and politics together, and then – it came to me – this is a great title to move the whole project along. So Hard Rain morphs into This Wheel’s on Fire with an injection of new songs and a much more jazz based interaction between the piano and voice.
LJN: What songs will you be singing?
BJ : Well I have some Hard Rain and some other Dylan (Times They Are A Changin’) and but have added Steely Dan’s Only A Fool Would Say That, and Everything Must Change, This Wheel’s On Fire, Kern and Hammerstein’s Ol’ Man River, a mash-up of Walk Me Out In The Morning Dew with a Jagger and Richards surprise in the middle, a Springsteen – Devils and Dust, and the brilliant Richard Thompson’s Pharaoh.
LJN: What have you been doing over the summer?
BJ: Corby in August and the Royal Phil Orchestra with Anthony Weeden conducting – he’d orchestrated the songs that I’d written with the local musicians and a small group of women from the 40 strong choir. (See previous interview).There were 120 of us on stage, if not more. It was quite something. I was in Connecticut working with performers there for 2 weeks – that was a joy – and the closest I got to a holiday. We did Hard Rain at the Vortex and that was packed in August and then its now!
LJN: What is it about Dylan’s songs that inspire you so much ?
BJ: Its the inner beauty and harsh clarity. The deceptively simple sounding – they’re not simple at all – melodies which you can – if you’re working with someone as sympathetic and smart as Simon Wallace, open out harmonically, and you can get such achingly lovely sense into the song structures.
LJN: What are you doing after Crazy Coqs shows?
BJ: I’m off to a 2 week season at 59E59 Theater in Manhattan to do Hard Rain there for 2 weeks, which will be great. Tracy Stark will play piano and Mike Lunoe percussion. I did a run there over Christmas last year and had a ball. There’s such openness in the New York and American jazz and cabaret audiences. And I’ll be planning for next year.