Lizzie Thomas – Easy to Love

Jazz vocals in the tradition of old-school divas is what you get with Easy to Love (2013) by Lizzie Thomas. It’s a set of 10 standards, including a few that are slightly off the beaten path.

A variable ensemble of musicians assists Thomas. For most tracks, she’s accompanied by pianist Xavier Davis, trumpeter Antoine Drye, guitarist Ron Affif and bassist Yoshi Waki. Appearing on selected tracks are Janelle Reichman, clarinet; Greg Ryan, bass; Frank Lacy, trombone; and Anne Drummond, flute. Drum duties are split between Frank Levatino and Alvester Garnett.

“Close Your Eyes” is a delightful ballad. Balance between voice and instruments is superb. Thomas charms with her singing while the musicians provide plenty of ambience. Waki, Davis and Garnett maintain the pace behind solos by Affif and Drye. Thomas comes back for the finale, delivering the lines with verve before closing with a fade stop.

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