Sensual and technically brilliant
„I sing therefore I am“ is written on the cover of Bettina Pohle's latest CD „Just [b], which appears to be a translation suggestion from a dictionary for the word „to be“. This is obviously the life motto of the versatile Berliner, who lived in the US for an extended period of time. Initially out and about in classical music, Pohle switched to jazz during her time in the US; and - to put it in Berliners' terms - that's a good thing, too, because Pohle's expressive voice, full of character, is virtually predestined for jazz.
Along with the interpretations of jazz classics, her repertoire also contains original compositions by Ruh and Pohle. From the outset, the striking thing is Pohle's extraordinarily warm timbre: expressive, strong and still transparent. However, sensuality and warm timbre must not let one forget that Pohle is also technically very versed; with flexible agogics in the individual phrases she pointedly ramps up the expression.
The Ralf Ruh Trio accompanies perceptively and gently. Good timing, rhythmic secureness and mutual close listening inform the overall music playing of Pohle and the Ralf Ruh Trio.
The musicians shine in their solos and accompany Bettina Pohle expressively and with dynamic strength. The Ralf Ruh Trio sets the jazzy accents for the intimate and authentic qualities of the singer, thus making it a perfect musical liaison. Bettina Pohle's jazz singing convinces less with pure dynamics than with her finely graded art of phrasing, with intelligent understatement, her knowledge of the lyrics and their communication, and through an emotional depth which her warm alto voice transports in a one of a kind way.