Review: A smooth old-fashioned evening of jazz with Susana Sawoff Trio

27. April 2014
Mihaela Barac

On a Friday evening in Theatre NO99’s audience was pleasantly and euphorically transported seventy years back, to a cosy, small tavern in New Orleans. It was full of that “artistic cigarette smell” and of the old times perfumes. Everyone was smiling and feeling like floating on waves of muffin tops. 

From the first entrance on the stage, Susana was emitting only positive energy and sunny feelings. She charmed everyone immediately with her sincere smile and with her wonderful lively eyes. The music started and the instruments were already making waves of flowers among the public. They brought spring in everyone’s hearts for sure. 

The energy of the music was easy and abundant at the same time. As simple as it may seemed at first, as pure and voluptuous was the feeling that was given to you after. Susana was nice enough to salute us in Estonian and say thank you as well. She was always communicating between songs, keeping everyone charmed and euphoric. She made a real, beautiful, fragile friendship with the audience, while keeping her strong and mystical relationship with her band mates. There was a real telepathic dialog between them that you could easily see because of their eyes. Always making sure of each other’s state of mind.

Most of the songs from the debut album Wrapped up in a little Sigh (from January 2012) are written by Susana herself, but on their new album that is released in November, her colleagues from the band began co-writing with her. So at one point of the performance, we started hearing Christian Wendt’s song (bass/contrabass, vocals) We’ll laugh until we cry. It was in the same modest, lovable state of mind as the other songs. You could easily understand their same vision of music. The repertoire of the evening evolved to personalized covers for the majestic Björk’s Hyper-Ballad. I must say it was one of the most unexpected and pleasant times to hear this song, because of the jazz style approach. Further we listened to another great cover of Jeff Buckley’s Dream Brother, also as personalized as the last one.  

The journey felt like century, a full experience of music with a smooth rollercoaster through diverse styles and emotions. At the end we weren’t ready to let them go, and asked them twice for a last encore. The first song from the end of the time travel was a mild, a cappella like song to which the public was also a participant by whistling a chorus rhythm. The second tune was a masterpiece of a cover You never give me your money from, quoting, “the greatest band in the world – The Beatles!“.

The trio literally left our hearts nostalgic, blissful, serene and sunny, all at the same time. It is one of those memories you take home with and put in a beautiful handcrafted box of memories and play it in your head and heart whenever you need to remind yourself to always be smiling and grateful.


Susana Sawoff Tro

April 25 at No99 Theatre Jazz Club


SUSANA SAWOFF (vocals and piano)


CHRISTIAN WENDT (electric bass and upright bass)