Elisabeth Lohninger | The Only Way Out Is Up

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Jazz: Latin Jazz Moods: Solo Female Artist
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The Only Way Out Is Up

by Elisabeth Lohninger

A thrilling performer and writer, Lohninger lends her "rich, passionate alto" voice to an eclectic mix of original songs and covers, all with her own unique, irresistable flavor.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Mirage
7:20 $0.99
2. The Weather in New York City
3:30 $0.99
3. The Only Way Out Is Up
5:17 $0.99
4. Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most
5:12 $0.99
5. As the Tides Turn
5:11 $0.99
6. Delirious Joy
7:44 $0.99
7. Swimming Upstream
5:46 $0.99
8. Be a Lion
7:09 $0.99
9. Falling Grace
4:21 $0.99
10. Free to Fall
5:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Nervy, fresh and somewhat recklessly Elisabeth Lohninger approaches her musical endeavors. Originally from Austria with her home of choice in New York City, the vocalist presents a thrilling, multi layered and emotionally charged album with her new release "The Only Way Out Is Up". Drawing from stylistic influences as diverse as jazz, pop and drum&bass, Ms. Lohninger succeeds in creating a breathlessly suspenseful mood. Her band proves up to the task, mastering sensitive nuance as well as complex and exciting grooves. "..a haunting alto of suggestiveness and controlled force…" is the verdict of Jazz Improv Magazine (US)



to write a review

Jazz Improv Magazine, Curtis Davenport

a rich, passionate alto
Elisabeth Lohninger is one of the more busy and familiar faces on the New York City downtown music scene. The Autrian-born vocalist is a part of the Jazz Department faculty at The New School, has produced and performed music for television (Alias and the venerable daytime drama, One Life To Live are just two of her credits), she also performs as a pop soul artist under the pseudonym “Tera” and now, she has released The Only Way Out Is Up, her second jazz release under her own name.
This CD caught my attention immediately, with the opening track, “Mirage”, a haunting, sensual piece, that I feel can be best described as Scheherazade and King Shahryar spending a few of their 1001 nights in a jazz club. Ms. Lohninger’s subtly erotic lyric, and her voice, a rich, passionate alto, come together to create a perfect after-dark in the desert atmosphere. Canadian electric bass master Chris Tarry, then takes the track to an even higher level with a dexterous solo that reminded me of Stanley Clarke at his best. By the time Elisabeth returns to restate the theme, you’ll know that Midnight at the Oasis was never like this. The mood and the tempo then shift quickly, with the next track, “The Weather in New York City”, a bright, bustling piece, which describes the scene outside during a snowstorm in lower Manhattan. The track is enlivened further by Walter Fischbacher’s energetic and tasty piano solo. At three and one-half minutes, it is a delightful track that, like a good time in NYC, goes by much too quickly.

We are then taken in another direction, with the title track, a piece of writing that, with its’ jazz funk rhythm and sardonically witty lyric, would make Donald Fagen proud. It is my favorite track on the album, if only for the fact that you have got to love a song with a lyric that admonishes someone to “get up and get your butt out of the mud”. As an extra treat, this track also features some marvelous tenor sax work from Donny McCaslin, one of the great, under recognized saxophone players working today.

Of the ten cuts here, seven have been penned by Ms. Lohninger, which is just fine, for as you may have guessed by now, she is a talented composer and lyricist. However some of the most unusual and interesting work on the CD, comes in the three tracks that Ms. Lohninger did not write music for. One of them is a very well known jazz standard, that has been covered by the greats from Getz, to Ella, to Betty Carter and more, another is a piece from a Broadway musical classic, that is rarely heard outside of the show and the third a piece that has been played often, but has to my knowledge, not had a lyric until Ms. Lohninger came along. “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most”, the aforementioned jazz standard, is usually taken at a tempo that fits its’ wistful lyric. By Lohninger and her cohorts turn the melancholic ballad, into a swinging samba, highlighted again by Mr. Fischbacher’s joyous, creative piano work and Ms. Lohninger’s festive, sact-filled vocals. I have heard many versions of “Spring…” over the years, but until this version, never one that made me feel upbeat after it was over. “Be A Lion” is from the score of “The Wiz”. Once again here, a piece that is known widely as a ballad, is given an up-tempo treatment, with excellent solo work from the guest stars; McCaslin, this time on soprano sax and percussion superstar Mino Cinelu, who adds his distinctive touch to four other tracks, as well. Finally, Steve Swallow’s “Falling Grace” is given a beautiful reading here, with the addition of Ms. Lohningers poignant words. Fischbacher’s piano solo here, is the best of his many memorable ones on this CD.

The Only Way Out Is Up is, on the whole, an eclectic, risk-taking and pleasing disc that, manages to successfully find a balance between a hip, downtown New York City vibe and the conventions of jazz traditions. I have seen many artists try for this type of balance before and fail, because their efforts leaned too far toward one side or the other of the fence. Elisabeth Lohninger, however, is a performer with enough of equal parts of intelligence, nerve, imagination and talent that are necessary to pull it off and she does so, marvelously.