'Gling-Gló' is an album of traditional Icelandic jazz songs performed by the Gudmundur Ingólfsson Trio (Gudmundur Ingólfsson, Gudmundur Steingrímsson, and Thórdur Högnason
) with vocals by Björk
. At the time, Björk
was semi-famous for being the vocalist in The Sugarcubes
who wasn't Einar Orn
. Despite its seemingly limited appeal - only half a million people in the world speak Icelandic
, and it seems likely that not all of them are fans of light jazz
- it has since developed a cult following. Iceland
itself has a thriving musical culture, despite boasting a population smaller than that of Sheffield
Gling-Gló was released in 1990 by Bad Taste records, who usually specialise in Icelandic punk music. Subsequently it has been re-released by One Little Indian and promoted through its Björk connection.
It was recorded 'live in the studio' in the space of 17 hours, with the exception of 'Ruby Baby' and 'I Can't Help Loving That Man', both of which were recorded for an earlier Icelandic radio programme.
The mood is generally quite jolly, and, as it mostly dates from the 1930s and 1940s, it sounds like the kind of thing soldiers might have listened to whilst out drinking during World War 2 (for some reason, I have a mental picture of Richard Burton in 'Where Eagles Dare' whenever I listen to it). All the players appear to be enjoying themselves, Björk sings her heart out, and it's recommended for all.
Currently, Amazon.com lists it at over 25 dollars - it's actually cheaper to order it directly from Amazon.co.uk.
The title is supposedly the Icelandic for the noise of a clock ticking, and the nearest English equivalent would be 'tick-tock'.