With her acoustic band adding light Brazilian backgrounds to her program of standards and originals, Spider Saloff brings us her sixth album on the Kopaesthetics label. A veteran of the vocal jazz scenes of New York and Chicago, she's comfortable interpreting lyrics as well as scat singing with clarity.
Her original "Like Glass" tells a story. In most relationships, lovers can see right through each other. Saloff sings a mournful song about lost love and how we feel about it. Steve Ramsdell's acoustic guitar adds a soulful presence as she rues the day, expresses regret, and hints at a quick recovery. Together, they combine the blues with samba and brace the audience for whatever comes next.
Familiar standards such as "Gravy Waltz" and "Nature Boy" come equipped with their traditional moods. Saloff swings when appropriate and delivers each lyric clearly. Her scatting gives the session an uplifting quality that never stops.
We have choices when it comes to instrumental accompaniment. Getting the right texture is like finding the right marriage partner: one makes the other better. Here, Saloff has chosen violin, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, and hand drums over the usual options like the piano trio, studio orchestra, or swirling keyboards and the like. The match is a perfect fit. The silky timbre of her voice and the natural resonance of her band combine seamlessly to produce a lovely concert.
Personnel: Spider Saloff: vocals; Steve Ramsdell: guitars; Kelly Sill: bass; Zach Brock: violin; Geraldo de Oliveira: percussion.