Posts Tagged ‘ Vocal Jazz ’

Lety – The Wallflower

Vocalist Eva Leticia Padilla aka Lety is haling from New York, where she received the degree “Bachelor of Fine Arts” at the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. Now she lives in Stuttgart, Germany, while her artistic activities expand worldwide.

The Wallflower (2017) is her debut album. All songs are her creations with the support of Nikolai Banke, Tino Derado, and Dany Labana. Personnel are William Lecomte (piano), Leonie Hefele, Jens Loh ( bass), Jo Ambros, Christoph Neuhaus (guitar), Antoine Fillion and Fulgencio Medina (drums).

Her songs tell of personal experiences, love, family, friendship, lying, fighting in life and dealing with it. And with every song she reveals a part of her strong personality.

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Sylvia Brooks – The Arrangement

With music, sometimes it’s the songwriting that makes a difference. Other times, the voices and instruments and how they execute are key. But then there’s that time when a reworking of what’s written is the focal point. That’s where vocalist Sylvia Brooks comes in, hiring several Los Angeles-based arrangers for her third album, The Arrangement (2017).

The lineup varies from song to song. Collectively, the players are: Otmaro Ruiz, piano; Sezin Ahmet Turkmenoglu, bass; Aaron Serfaty, drums and percussion; Kim Richmond, alto sax; Bob Sheppard, tenor sax; Francisco Torres, trombone; Juliane Gralle, bass trombone; Brian Swartz, trumpet; Ron Stout, flugelhorn; Will Brahm, guitar; Quinn Johnson, piano; Trey Henry, bass; Tom Brechtlein, drums; Michael Stever, trumpet; Jeff Driskill, sax; Jeff Colella, piano; Kendall Kay, drums; Chris Colangelo, bass; Bruce Babad, flutes; Larry Koonse, guitar; Christian Jacob, piano and Fender Rhodes; Will Brahm, guitar; David Hughes, bass; Jamey Tate, drums.

Brooks brings warmth and a bit of joy to Hank Williams’ “Cold Cold Heart.” Rather than wallow in the misery of being mistreated by a loved one, Brooks sings it with vigor, as a wronged person turning the situation into a positive, by taking charge. Her scat enhances Driskell’s tenor solo. The horn section gives a swing feel to the song.

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Julia Fordham – The Language of Love

If you’re in the mood for romance, or need inspiration to get into the mood, vocalist Julia Fordham is calling to you. The Language of Love (Red River Entertainment, 2017) injects a jazzy element to some favorite pop songs, including a power ballad by Blondie and a song of denial by 10cc.

The musicians are Grant Mitchell, piano and keyboards; David Piltch, upright bass; Herman Matthews, drums and vocal beatbox on “Happy Ever After”; Ramon Yslas, percussion; Ramon Stagnaro, guitar; Harry Kim, trumpet; Colin Ryan, guitar on “Moon River”; and Judith Owen and Sista Jean McClain, background vocals on “Happy Ever After,” “Like You Used to Do,” “Fragile” and “Who’s That Girl.” Mitchell is the producer. He also co-wrote three songs with Fordham.

Fordham goes bossa nova on the cover of the Eurhythmics’ “Who’s That Girl.” Fordham’s voice and style are like a cross between Tierney Sutton and Sarah Vaughan.

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Clint Holmes – Rendezvous

Singer-songwriter Clint Holmes reminisces about his youth, recalling the times he spent Sunday afternoons with his father at the Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo. That captures the essence of the title song to Rendezvous (LL Music, 2017).

A little historical context is needed to understand the venue’s name. Through the 1960s and into the ’70s, “colored” was the common term for African Americans, or black people, in the United States. Holmes’ father was black, and his mother white.

“I was 12, and it was a true coming of age moment for me,” Holmes says. “I had never seen my dad in this world. He worked three jobs and never seemed happy until I saw him in this element. I fell in love with jazz and how cool it felt to interact with those ‘cats’ the way my dad did.”

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Fay Claassen – Luck Child

Vocalist Fay Claassen has been singing for many years. Luck Child (Challenge Records, 2017) is a compilation of favorites that she’s never recorded before.

The artist presents an ode to youth and beauty, with a mix of old songs and new, including two written by Paul Heller.

The musicians are Olaf Polziehn, piano; Peter Tiehuis, guitar; Ingmar Heller, bass; and on “Miniature No. 7,” Paul Heller, clarinet, bass clarinet and tenor saxophone.

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Scott Morgan – Songs of Life

It’s worth noting that when Scott Morgan selected the music for his debut album, he broke with the tried and true practice of remaking standards from “The American Songbook.” That alone makes Songs of Life (Miranda Music, 2016) different from most vocalist debuts. There are a few standards, but there are also jazz arrangements of pop songs, covers of lesser-known jazz pieces and songs written or co-written by the album’s producer.

For his entry into the world of recorded music, Morgan is accompanied by Fred Hersch, piano; Matt Aronoff, bass; Ross Pederson, drums; with special guest Joel Frahm, tenor saxophone on selected tracks.

“Song of Life” is a sunny, easygoing piece highlighted by Hersch’s piano opening and solo, crisp stick work by Pederson, and Frahm’s subtle phrases throughout and his bright, end solo. The lyrics express Morgan’s experience of a fall day in New York City – the sights, the sounds and the joy of being alive.

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Anna Danes – Find Your Wings

During the summer, as vocalist Anna Danes planned the marketing and promotional aspects of her new album, Find Your Wings (DLG Records, 2016), she learned that she has breast cancer. She penned a motivational blog, Cancer Part 1: Vanity Saved My Life, to educate and inspire others who are dealing with their own health challenges.

Accompanying Danes are Rich Ruttenberg, piano; John Ferraro, drums; and Trey Henry, bass. Richard Shelton joins for a duet on “That’s All.”

“I Will Wait for You” has a moderate, finger-snapping, toe-tapping pace. Danes opens with a haunting chant before delving into the lyrics. She sings of a lover whose gone away for some purpose not mentioned in the song. What matters is that she’ll is patient, longing for his return. Ruttenberg complements with fills underneath her lead, as well as a middle solo. Ferraro and Henry are steady throughout, with the pair coming out more during the instrumental fade.

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