JJ Soul Band
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JJ Soul Band

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Music

Press


"Unique and original"

HUNGRY FOR NEWS
12 earlier works from this highly unique and original Icelandic group. Some exceptional songs including Dark Eyes and also the title track.”
English lyrics by vocalist-extraordinaire, JJ Soul, said to be remindful of Tom Waits, Ray Charles and Joe Cocker. Some of Iceland’s finest musicians play in the band. Blues fused with light jazz and rock.

- Norman McCourt: A´n’ R Magazine- sept. 2002 - A´n’ R Magazine- sept. 2002


"Outstanding"

CITY LIFE
"The title song has already received first prize in the USA Songwriting Competition, 1997 in R & B/Jazz category and shines brilliantly amongst other interesting compositions with its open song structures, a quantity of illusions of musical-stylistic plates, groovy soul numbers, interrupted by a waltz with slide-guitar and accordion, a latin number "All the time in the World", or the Jazz-fusion song "Same Day Service". Over everything floats and successfully cuts through the husky voice of J.J. Soul, which resembles very much the "rusty" singing of Tom Waits. Also the guitarist Edvard Larusson is noticeable by his sovereign playing technique and "song serving" guitar solos. It's a fun CD to listen to, with its altogether no set musical direction that fits the category. Not without reason, the band has classified their music as "Blues (con!)fusion". - The overall sound quality is outstanding and although some of the songs are probably too smooth-arranged for a large market, I can strongly recommend this CD to anyone who enjoys a broad spectrum of music."
- Ralf Weber [www.RETROSPEC.de, 2000] - Jazz Society


"Goosebumps from head to toes"

CITY LIFE
"Entertaining and emotional. JJ Soul is a classy vocalist. Goosebumps from head to toes"
- Sveinn Gudjonsson: Morgunbladid, dec. 1997 - Morgunbladid, dec. 2002


"Top notch"

REACH FOR THE SKY
The songs are well written, the musicianship is top notch and the production is outstanding.
- Clay Philips: EA South (Toronto) - TEA South (Toronto)


"Superb"

REACH FOR THE SKY
I work in the Music Industry so hear a lot of music. The musicianship on this album is superb and the album as a whole is something different from the norm. Very enjoyable.
R. J. - author of the book “'How To Get Your Music in Film & TV”
- Music Broker Network


"Great funky, jazz-blues sound."

REACH FOR THE SKY
Great funky, jazz-blues sound. Lyrics are best described as "Cool!"
- Metro, 2002
- Metro


"Thoughtful and sophisticated"

REACH FOR THE SKY
Good entertainment. JJ’s vocals nice and warm. Blues and jazz flavoured music with a swing. Well written music and lyrics. This one will appeal to all those who like thoughtful and sophisticated music.
- Arni Matthiasson: Morgunbladid, dec 2002
- Morgunbladid, dec 2002


"Highly original. A second to nothing"

CITY LIFE
...blues/jazz-fusion but also latin flavours. The title song received 1. prize (R&B/jazz category) in The USA Songwriting Competition in 1997.
“Excellent piece of highly original jazz, funk, rock, fusion, blues from Iceland. Also extremely strong lyrically it features UK singer JJ Soul. A second to nothing”
Norman McCourt: A´n´R Magazine- sept. 2002 - A´n´R Magazine- sept. 2002


"Complicated and easy listening"

BRIGHT LIGHTS.
I would describe the music as jazzpop and it could be associated with the music of bands like Steely Dan. The average blues lover will find it too smooth and sophisticated. Maybe they will have a point, but the fact is that I seldom heard more talented musicians gathered on one album. Also the arrangements and lyrics are top level, and sound tight, complicated and easy listening at the same time..
Harold van Dorth - http://www.bobtjeblues - August 12th, 2008 -
- Bobtje Blues, August 12th, 2008


"Artistic shrewdness and good taste"

BRIGHT LIGHTS:
The (musical) approach is characterized by artistic shrewdness and good taste. Bright Lights is a fine and solid album, unaffected and competent. Interpretation always full of artistic aptitude and perception.
- Orri Hardarson – - Morgunbladid, 9. aug. 2008


Discography

Hungry For News, 1994
City Life, 1997
Reach For The Sky, 2002
Bright Lights, 2008
(P - Arizona University Publications; www.aurec.com)

Photos

Bio

ICELANDIC MAD DOGS AND AN ENGLISHMAN:
Singer / songwriter / drummer / harmonica-player / guitarist, JJ Soul from Oxford, lived in Iceland for a few years. With Icelandic songwriter/keyboardist Ingvi Thor Kormaksson, JJ founded JJ Soul Band in 1993. Their first self-produced CD from 1994, 'HUNGRY FOR NEWS' contains music and lyrics written by Kormaksson & Soul, as does their second CD, 'CITY LIFE' (1997). Both CD's have received excellent reviews from critics. JJ Soul Band’s third CD is “Reach For The Sky”. The band doesn't perform often but has in the past played different venues; clubs and jazz festivals in Iceland.
Influences: hard-bop, cool jazz, Mose Allison, Steely Dan, Hoagy Carmichael, Georgie Fame, Antonio Carlos Jobim, etc..
It's an original band; jazz, blues, fusion, latin, funk and more, delivered in a way that makes the band very special.
Two original JJ Soul Band tracks were on a SONY/BMG compilation in Poland called "The 1st Smooth Jazz Avenue", also on "2nd Smooth..." (2007) and on "In Love With Jazz" (QL Music, Poland, 2008). - The band's 4th album (June, 2008) is "Bright Lights".

JJ Soul Band: Awards & etc.:
“CITY LIFE” (City Life) - 1. prize; USA Songwriting Competition, 1997, R&B/Jazz Category.
“WATCH OUT” /Hungry For News) - 2. prize; 4th Hastings International Songwriting Contest, 1996.
“FIVE BELOW ZERO” (Hungry For News) - award of merit; South Pacific International Song Contest 1997
“ALTERED STATES” (City Life) – achievement award; UNISONG International Song Contest 1997
“CAN´T WAIT A LIFETIME” (Reach For The Sky) - honor award; The Great American Song Contest, 2000.
THE TIMES WE ARE LIVING IN (Reach For The Sky} - jazz&blues finalist; The UK Songwriting Contest, 2002
MOONBRIGHT-MOONLIGHT (Reach For The Sky jazz&blues finalist; The UK Songwriting Contest, 2003
“COOL TONIGHT” (Reach For The Sky) Honorable Mention Winner; The Mid-Atlantic Song Contet, 2003;
“BETTER” (Reach For The Sky) entry of merit, UNISONG, International Songwriting Contest, 2003
“COOL TONIGHT” 1st Place Winner, SongPrize.com, 2004
“ANGELIQUE” (Reach For The Sky) – 1. prize Pacific Songwriting Competition, 2005; Jazz/Blues category.
"I'VE BEEN HAD AGAIN" – semifinalist (jazz&blues); UK Songwriting Contest, 2007
"GETTING COLDER BY THE YEAR" - finalist (nominated); LA Music Awards, 2007
"THAT KINDA MAN" - finalist; The 100% Music Songwriting Contest (Blues/Jazz), 2008