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Pedersen has had a varied career as a singer.  She has worked with a trip-hop group (Mata Hari) and and an 18 piece jazz orchestra (Moonlight Big Band) and sung in stage musicals (‘Chess’). 

Such a breadth of musical styles makes her a versatile singer, as evidenced on this collection.  What these experiences have also provided is a solid appreciation of the ways in which words and music fit together. Each of the compositions on this set are Pedersen’s  - except for track 2, ‘Ribbons of Sand’, which is a piece by John Surman and Karin Krog.  Indeed, Karin Krog writes, in the liner notes, of how impressed she is by the ‘melodic songs which told a story, sung expressively by Nina’s dark and mature voice.’  Each of Pedersen’s compositions demonstrate an impressive ability to have the melody combine with the lyrics to produce a deeply emotional and compelling interplay.   That she also lecturers on vocal jazz at Rome’s Saint Louis College of Music should come as no surprise.  This combination is helped by the fact that she is singing with her regular trio (with whom she has recorded a couple of previous albums), and the emotional content brought out by some fine soloing by the guest trumpet and saxophone players.

The sound, overall, has a relaxed and laidback feel,

with compositions that work a mixture of Torch Songs with a subtle sprinkling of contemporary electronic wash and effects.  

As much as this is a European record (from Norway via Italy), this has its heart in Brazil with the nods to a gentle bossa nova in several pieces with a strong rhythm section giving each track its swing. 

The piano accompaniment of Principato is particurly dextrous and delicate, carrying the mood of each piece while giving the voice plenty of space to convey its meaning, emotion and optimism. 

To quote Krog’s liner notes, ‘A top class album’.

Chris Baber. Jazz Views. UK



“Eyes Wide Open”

This is the third album by Norwegian (resident in Rome) Jazz singer / songwriter Nina Pedersen, accompanied by the excellent piano trio consisting of pianist Pierpaolo Principato, bassist Marco Loddo and drummer Giampaolo Scatozza. Trumpeter Aldo Bassi plays on a couple of tunes and saxophonist Paolo Innarella plays on another two tracks. The album presents eight songs, seven of which are originals (music and lyrics in English) by Pedersen and one is by the wonderful duo of John Surman and Karin Krog.

The original songs are all beautifully woven by their author, with superb melodic themes and intelligent lyrics. They are all standard quality and the album flows smoothly from start to finish like a collection of well known tunes, which of course is a rare quality.

The piano trio and guests play fabulously, supporting the vocalist amicably and adding occasional solos, all perfectly suiting the music. Bassi is especially imaginative during his parts on the two songs and I wish he would have played for the entire duration of the album.

Pedersen has a wonderfully mature, dark and enticing voice, in some respects similar to that of Karin Krog herself, who wrote a short comment for the album's liner notes, with which I agree completely.

This is one of those albums, which do not try to be spectacular even for a moment, but deliver exactly what is appropriate within its scope: wonderful songs and perfect execution, full of heartfelt emotion, honesty and great taste, creating a first class aesthetic experience. Very well done!

Adam Baruch. The Soundtrack of my life. Israel



Una classe cristallina che sgorga da temi cantabili e carezzevoli. “Eyes Wide Open” è la nuova creatura discografica partorita dalla raffinata cantante e compositrice Nina Pedersen,


che per questo avvincente viaggio artistico è affiancata dagli ottimi Pierpaolo Principato (pianoforte e tastiere), Marco Loddo (contrabbasso) e Giampaolo Scatozza (batteria ed elettronica), nonché dagli special guest Aldo Bassi (tromba in “Ribbon Of Sand” e “Granny’s Waltz”) e Paolo Innarella (sax in “Mrs. Nilsen e “Mother And Son). Gli otto brani che costituiscono la tracklist sono frutto della ferace meninge della vocalist, eccezion fatta per “Ribbon Of Sand” (John Surman-Karin Krog). Il caracollante andamento di “Granny’s Waltz” è ammaliante. Qui Bassi intesse un eloquio denso di espressività, impreziosito da un notevole senso melodico. “Mrs. Nilsen” è una composizione placida, rasserenante. Nina Pedersen interpreta il brano con pathos e delicatezza. L’incedere di Principato è genuino, pregno di pura essenza comunicativa. Innarella cesella un’elocuzione profondamente narrativa, locupletata da guizzanti scorribande cromatiche. Il mood di “Mother And Son” è toccante. La cantante si esprime attraverso un palpabile trasporto emotivo. Il solo del sassofonista è magnetico, adornato da una sopraffina gestione della dinamica. Chiaramente tendente al contemporary jazz, colmo di apollinee colorazioni nordiche, “Eyes Wide Open” è un album che rigenera lo spirito, in cui la melodia è l’indiscussa regina.

Stefano Dentice. Roma in Jazz. Italy

«Eyes Wide Open» med Nina Pedersen er et sterkt og modent album, der hun har skrevet sju av åtte låter selv, den siste står Karin Krog og John Surman bak. Sterke sanger, lavmælte, men fulle av rytmisk krutt, elegante melodiøse løsninger og nydelig veskling mellom tilbakelent vokal og instrumentale soloer fordelt på piano, keyboard, bass, saksofon og trompet.
Pedersen kommer fra Grimstad, men har bodd i Roma siden 1990. Der har hun både gjort lokal karriere i mange sammenhenger og sendt ut plater på verdensmarkedet. Dette er hennes tredje. Hun har med seg noen italienske musikere det svinger herlig av. Musikken bølger beroligende gjennom rommet, uten den fjerneste hast.
Tekstene er personlige, ikke minst «Granny’s Waltz», en sang med voldsomt vingespenn, som minner om at Nina Pedersen startet med å synge for sin bestemor og hennes medpasienter på pleiehjemmet. Karin Krog har skrevet noen god ord på innsiden av coveret, meget varme hilsener fra Norge til Italia.
Fredrik Wandrup. Wandrups utvalgte.
Dagbladet. Norway


Singer NINA PEDERSEN has issued a lovely melodic CD called EYES WIDE OPEN (Losen Records LOS 184-2). With the exceprion of one track all the compositions are written by Pedersen. Including the lyrics in the liners adds to the enjoyment as one can contemplate the poetic words along with the contemporary music (40:55) One piece here is by Karin Krog and John Surman (two artists we don´t hear enough of these days). Supporting backup is by Pierpaolo Principato(keys),Marco Loddo (b), Giampaolo Scatozza (perc), Aldo Bassi (tpt) and Paolo Innarella (sax). Recorded 6/22 & 7/3/16.
A quiet and a most pleasant surprise.
Cadence Jazz Magazine, USA



Nina Pedersen har vært en skjult skatt altfor lenge.

Nina Pedersen har vært bosatt i Roma siden 1990 og har sikkert fulgt oppfordringa om å gjøre som romerne - når hun er i Roma. I tillegg har hun gjort som vokalister med noe på hjertet ofte gjør, nemlig å gi oss et musikalsk visittkort med internasjonalt snitt. Så bra er hun nemlig.

Pedersen hadde allerede gitt ut ei plate da vi her hjemme fikk møte henne for første gang i 2014. Da ga hun oss «So Far So Good» på Hilde Louise Asbjørnsens selskap Sweet Morning Music. Stort sett alt av tekst og musikk var skrevet av Pedersen, i tillegg til «You Must Believe in Spring» og en Jobim-låt. Hun fortalte oss at hun var en historieforteller av solid klasse, en melodiker av rang og utstyrt med ei varm, lys/mørk og intim stemme. Alt dette viderefører hun på et strålende vis på «Eyes Wide Open».

Med sju egne låter pluss ei skrevet av ingen ringere enn radarparet Karin Krog og John Surman - Krog har dessuten skrevet noen hyggelige ord i omslaget som jeg slutter meg fullt ut til - bekrefter altså Pedersen at hun er en formidler på svært høy hylle der hun forteller sine historier med god tid i en usedvanlig empatisk og varm setting.

Pedersen synger på engelsk og gjør det med perfekt uttale og fin diksjon og hun trives aller best i medium/ballade/bossa-landskap. Med seg har hun en utmerka trio med ukjente folk for oss her nord, men som absolutt bør nevnes likevel: Marco Loddo på bass, Pierpaolo Principato på tangenter og Giampaolo Scatozza på trommer og live elektronikk. Gjestene, på to spor hver, Aldo Bassi på trompet og Paolo Innarella på saksofon er absolutt med og sørger for ekstra krydder.

Nina Pedersen har altså holdt seg «skjult» der nede blant Forum Romanum i neste 30 år. Det er på høy tid hun får mer oppmerksomhet både her hjemme og i resten av verden - hun har nemlig mye å fare med.

Tor Hammerø. Tor de Jazz. Norway



Τραγουδίστρια (και τραγουδοποιός) γεννημένη στη Νορβηγία είναι η Nina Pedersen, με καριέρα όμως που ξετυλίγεται τόσο στην πατρίδα της, όσο και στην Ιταλία. Στη Ρώμη εξάλλου είναι ηχογραφημένο (το καλοκαίρι του ’16) το τελευταίο άλμπουμ της “Eyes Wide Open”, που περιλαμβάνει εφτά δικά της τραγούδια και μια διασκευή στο “Ribbon of sand” των John Surman και Karin Krog. Είπαμε τη μαγική λέξη; Ναι, γιατί η Karin Krog έχει επηρεάσει την Pedersen στον τρόπο τραγουδίσματός της και αυτό μόνον ως θετικό θα μπορούσε να εκτιμηθεί (η Krog, που έχει γράψει και τα θερμά λόγια για την Pedersen στο μέσα μέρος του digipak).

Δεν είναι «χθεσινή» η Nina Pedersen. Με καριέρα σε πολλά και διαφορετικά μέτωπα (διάβασα κάπου πως έχει τραγουδήσει ακόμη και με trip-hop ιταλικό σχήμα εκεί προς τις αρχές του αιώνα) δείχνει (και είναι) «ψημένη» ως καλλιτέχνιδα, με ολοφάνερη άνεση στην αντιμετώπιση των τόσων διαφορετικών εκφραστικών καταστάσεων, που απαιτούν οι ρόλοι της. Και από τέτοιους (ρόλους) διαθέτει αρκετούς το “Eyes Wide Open”, γιατί τα τραγούδια της Pedersen, μέσα στην απλότητά τους, μιλούν για πολλά και διαφορετικά πράγματα – χωρίς ποτέ να χάνουν τον ενδιαφέρουν τους, όταν καταπιάνονται και με φιλοσοφικά να-τα-πούμε-έτσι θέματα. Μερικά απ’ αυτά, δε, είναι καταπληκτικά και σαν σύνολο (μουσικές, στίχοι, ερμηνείες, συνολικότερο δόσιμο), όπως το “Me, myself & I” π.χ. (άσμα που περιστρέφεται γύρω από τη δημιουργική μοναξιά, έχοντας άψογη ερμηνεία από την Pedersen και πολύ ωραία πλήκτρα από τον Pierpaolo Principato) ή το “Granny’s waltz” (που έχει αγαπησιάρικο νοσταλγικό θέμα και είναι… βαλσάρα, όχι βαλσάκι).

Πολύ καλό και οριοθετημένο άλμπουμ από την Nina Pedersen και την μπάντα της, που περιλαμβάνει ακόμη πλήκτρα, κοντραμπάσο, ντραμς, ηλεκτρονικά, τρομπέτα και σαξόφωνα στο setting.


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