How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Singer/songwriter Shirley Eikhard brings a special vibrancy to jazz. Her intimate vocal style is made for a small room filled with listeners who want to enjoy the pleasures. The title track for this, her 10th album, gives a clue. It's a smooth jazz session for that time of day when you just want to forget what's been happening. Yeah, there are more days like that than preferred. Eikhard fills the room with nine of her compositions. Mostly instrumentals, the songs feature guitar or harmonica with a balanced accompaniment from keyboard, bass, and drums. Eikhard plays every instrument. She did it all in her home studio. A singer's approach to the instrument can be appreciated, since the lyrical feeling comes naturally. Eikhard convinces. Her wordless vocal on "Tiger, Gentle Tiger" blends with harmonica to recall "Bluesette." Her lyrics to "Some New Thrill" portrays one side of the song, while her paired wordless vocals and guitar represent the other. Several of the songs recall an old-fashioned cowboy ballad framework, while "The Hills of Hockley" recalls Old English folkways. Audio samples for several of the album's tracks are available at www.shirleyeikhard.com .
Track Listing: Some New Thrill; Song for Lesley; End of the Day; Detour Home; She's Back In Five; Sculpting a Masterpiece; Tiger, Gentle Tiger; The Hills of Hockley; What Was I Thinking?; End of the Day (reprise); Some New Thrill (single version).
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