Solveig Slettahjell is an award-winning Norwegian jazz singer who made her album debut in 2001 and generally performs with her Slow Motion Quintet.
Born on April 2, 1971, in Bærum, Norway, she studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Upon signing a recording deal with the Curling Legs label, she made her solo album debut in 2001 with Slow Motion Orchestra. Recorded live in concert on May 22, 2001, in Oslo, the album is titled after her band (later renamed the Slow Motion Quintet), which was originally comprised of Morten Qvenild (piano), Sjur Miljeteig (trumpet), Mats Eilertsen (bass), and Per Oddvar Johansen (drums). Like her full-length debut, the follow-up album Silver (2004) was an English-language effort comprised of jazz standards as well as original material. It was a breakout album for Slettahjell, earning a Spellemannsprisen Award in 2005 for Jazz Album of the Year and reaching number 23 on the Norwegian albums chart. Her third album, Pixiedust (2005), capitalized on the critical success, charting at number 15 in its first week of sales. Following another similarly styled album, Good Rain (2006), which marked a slight decline in her popularity, Slettahjell took a different approach for her next full-length effort, Domestic Songs (2007). The first of her albums not to feature the Slow Motion Quintet, Domestic Songs features Slettahjell herself on piano and was recorded at home during a ten-day period in February 2007. With the exception of a few covers, the material is comprised of originals written by Slettahjell, Miljeteig, and Peder Kjellsby. Slettahjell continued to take a different approach with her next full-length effort, Natt i Betlehem (2008), a Christmas album recorded in a church in Bethlehem between September 29 and October 2, 2008. A spare Norwegian-language recording featuring the trio of Slettahjell (vocals), Miljeteig (trumpet), and Tord Gustavsen (piano), Natt i Betlehem was her best-selling album to date, reaching the Top Five. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi