Vivian Buczek: Dedication To My Giants (2011)
Dedication To My Giants, is Vivian Buczek's tribute to those giants of jazz who have inspired the Swedish vocalist's own work. While Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles get a mention, Buczek's giants for are predominantly instrumentalistsJohn Coltrane, Miles Davis and Clifford Brown includedand as a result her song selection for this, her third album, avoids the most obvious vocal standards and gathers up some more unusual numbers. It's an impressive and enjoyable album.
The first five songs are bona fide jazz classics, and Buczek's interpretations are worthy additions to the canon. On Brown's "Joy Spring," with lyrics by Jezra Kaye, Buczek summons up the spirit of Annie Ross. Her version of Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman and Michel Legrand's "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?" is beautifully performed, with only Claes Crona's piano for company. Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream" swings gently, with Crona on electric keyboard and guest guitarist Andreas Oberg adding a warm toned solo.
"Once You Love," written by Buczek and her father Bruno, also stands out. There's another fine vocal from Buczek, and more of Crona's percussive yet graceful piano. Charles' "I Got A Woman," a vocal duet with Roger Pontare, is less successful: Pontare's voice is ideal for interpreting Charles' vocals, but Buczek's lighter, smoother, style isn't as suited to the demands of this bluesy song.
Buczek sings "Very Early" by Bill Evans and lyricist Carol Hall, accompanied by Kenji Rabson's sparse but sympathetic double-bass. Her phrasing and tone are excellent. As with her version of "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?" such a stripped-down musical backing is potentially risky, but both songs show Buczek's strength as a vocalist, as well as highlighting the talents of her accompanists.
Dedication To My Giants was recorded in 2009 but has not been readily available outside Sweden. Buczek establishes herself as a talented jazz singer, and a strong interpreter of ballads, with an ear for an intriguing mix of songs. Her work deserves to be known more widely.
Track Listing: Joy Spring; What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?; All The Way; Whisper Not; Nica's Dream; How Do You Keep The Music Playing?; My Shining Hour; Once You Love; I Got A Woman; Didma; Stockholm Sweetning; Very Early; Four.
Personnel: Vivian Buczek: vocals; Claes Crona: piano; Kenji Rabson: bass; Robert Ikiz: drums; Roger Pontare: voclas (6, 9); Andreas Öberg: guitar (5, 7, 9, 13).