Vocalist Lauren Kinhan is the alto quarter of vocal ensemble New York Voices
and the leader of two previous solo outings, Hardly Blinking
(Orchard, 2000) and Avalon
(Koch, 2010). She was most recently hears on New York Voices holiday offering, Let It Snow
(Five Cent Records, 2013). Kinhan's solo recordings are all originally composed by the singer making her solo artistic approach different from that of band mate Kim Nazarian
and Janis Siegel
and Cheryl Bentyne
of the The Manhattan Transfer
. And Kinhan is quite the songstress to boot..
Employing her long-time core trio of pianist Andy Ezrin
, bassist Will Lee
and drummer Ben Wittman
, Kinhan adds the likes of trumpeter Randy Brecker
, whose tart and close open-bell playing gives the production a dry and refined touch. The opening tune is the title piece and is such a perfectly constructed piece with a jazz-pop sensibility, it might be the contemporary missing link of what Frank Sinatra was in the 1940s and '50s.' Kinhan does not belabor the piece with duplicates throughout Circle
. Instead, she proceeds through the late-night feel of "Another Hill to Climb" and slick R&B flavored "I'm Looking for That Number." "Pocketful of Harlem" is edgy and modern, instrumentally a showcase for Kinhan's solid alto chimes. This singer's solo recordings stand in fine and forward-thinking contrast to her durable work with New York Voices.
Personnel: Lauren Kinhan:vocals; Andy Ezrin: Fender Rhodes; Ben Wittman: Drums &
Percussion; Will Lee: Bass; Randy Brecker: Trumpet; Lauren Kinhan,
Marlon Saunders, Ella Marcus: Background Vocals; David Finck: Bass;
Joel Frahm: Soprano Saxophone; Sara Caswell: 1st Violin, Joseph Brent
2nd Violin; Lois Martin: Viola; Jody Redhage: Cello; Aaron Heick: Alto
Flute; Romero Lubambo: Guitar; Donny McCaslin: Tenor Saxophone; John
Bailey: Flugel Horn; Chuck Loeb: Guitar; Gary Versace: Accordion.