Theresa Andersson - "Hummingbird, Go!" - Basin Street Records - 2008
It's fitting that Theresa Andersson chose to record her latest album, 2008's "Hummingbird, Go!" not in a studio or on a live stage, but in her own kitchen. The album is a cupboard of musical styles -- folk, jazz, R&B and more -- that gives the impression Andersson is capable of effortlessly mixing genres into a warm, tasty stock.
The album's opener, "Na Na Na," has become one of Andersson's most recognizable songs -- watch her perfom it on Craig Ferguson here -- showcasing her unique, one-woman band approach that has become an annual Jazz Fest highlight. She uses a loop pedal that allows her to play the drums, violin and guitar all on one track. It's a popular technique in today's music, but when Andersson does it, it feels fresh and beautifully layered.
But where the album truly stands out when compared to her two previous albums, 1996's "Vibes" and 2004's "Shine," is in its control and focus. It is difficult to be as adventurous and eclectic as Andersson is on "Hummingbird" without overwhelming the listener, but Andersson handles the balancing act masterfully.