Not especially active in recording vocalists, German label Nagel Heyer has made a fortuitous exception by hosting vocalist Lyambiko's first album. Definitely out of the cool school, this young German performer sings this play list of mostly standards in slightly accented English which helps to make her delivery even more engaging. Possessing an especially soothing tone, good phrasing instincts, a slight vibrato used judiciously, she shows her obvious like of and respect for classics written by Duke Ellington, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Loesser and Jimmy McHugh, among others. Peppered through are such strictly jazz tunes as John Coltrane's "Afro Blue" and a blues tune or two including a groovy "Miss Celie's Blues". One of the jazz tunes, Nat Adderley's "Work Song", gets A Capella treatment by the singer which showcases the purity and range of her awesome set of vocal chords and she ends this tune by reaching to the heavens with an astonishing high note which she seems to hold onto forever. Quite breathtaking.
Lyambiko gets staunch support by an international flavored trio of American Marque Lowenthal on piano, Canadian bassist Robin Draganic and drummer/percussionist Torsten Zwingenberger from Hamburg. This album offers more than 70 minutes of choice vocal jazz combined with excellent jazz instrumental artists and is highly recommended. The singer's web site is at www.lyambiko.de.
Personnel: Lyambiko - Vocals; Marque Lowenthal - Piano; Torsten Zwingenberger - Drums/Percussion; Robin Draganic - Bass