How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Lisa B's Free Me For the Joy has a contemporary feel, a mixture of live band on some cuts, and programmed background on others. The entire program consists of Lisa B originals, with the exception of "Trane's Ride," which uses Trane's "Naima" in the background. They're devoid of cliche and formula, and most tunes have thoughtful, creative lyrics. Her half-spoken, half-sung rappish style on "Turning It Around," "Virtual Kiss" and several other passages doesn't really do much for me. Nevertheless, Lisa B brings a fresh voice to today's contemporary jazz, mostly on the strength of good lyrics such as "You're Not a Girl Anymore" and "God of Your Heart." (Piece of Pie POP-6055)
Tracks: I Remember Paradise; Summertime Song; You're Not a Girl Anymore; God of Your Heart; Whoever Loves is Afraid; Free Me for the Joy; Turning It Around; Virtual Kiss; Trane's Ride; God No. 2. (48:36)
Lisa B - vocals, keyboards; Sandy Cressman, Nikita Germaine, Sandy Griffith, Alice Peacock - background vocals; Dave Yamasaki - guitar; Curtis Ohlson, Frank Thibeaux - bass; Marcos R. Biddle - drums; John Santos - percussion; James Richard - bass and drum programming; Bob Mocarsky - keyboards; Jim Gardiner - all other instruments.