Amazon.com Widgets

Stephanie Nakasian: Thrush Hour (2007)

By Published: | 3,553 views
Stephanie Nakasian: Thrush Hour How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Stephanie Nakasian is a great gift to jazz buffs—and especially to those who love singers. Not just for her exuberant performances but for her ability to articulate in layman's terms what it is to be a jazz singer. Her latest recording on V.S.O.P. Records, Thrush Hour, combines masterful singing, top-notch musicianship, and an educator's expertise to deliver a comprehensive "study of the great ladies of jazz, as the subtitle reads.

On this release Nakasian approaches a generous number of vocal jazz classics in the style of the original recording artist, from Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters to Abbey Lincoln and Ella Fitzgerald. Along with each track is an informative biographical sketch of the original artist that places the music in its era and details its significance in jazz history. Few singers can tell you as much about where their sound comes from.

Without resorting to imitation Nakasian synthesizes each of these singers' unique vocal abilities with her own estimable talent, and the result is both educational and entertaining. Nakasian shifts from one color and feel to the next quite deftly, moving from Connee Boswell's throaty version of "Lullaby of the Leaves , say, to Helen Ward's light and swinging up-tempo "Goody Goody, to Billie Holiday's high, subtly back-phrased "All of Me, to Anita O'Day's fast-paced, scatting bop in "What Is This Thing Called Love. These tunes are just a small sample of the stylistic leaps Nakasian displays on this 20-track CD. (You will be left to figure out how Nakasian can sound so convincing on a rendering of a Sarah Vaughn tune and then on one by Blossom Dearie, but there it is.)

The CD, recorded in two days (that's ten tunes a day), shows off the considerable chops of Nakasian's rhythm section: her husband Hod O'Brien on piano, Steve Gillmore on bass, Bill Goodwin on drums, and Howie Collins on rhythm guitar; and of her horn players, Randy Sandke (trumpet), Tod Hamilton (tenor sax), and John Jensen (trombone). The team borrows the arrangements from the original recordings, one assumes from reading the liner notes, but the presentation is fresh.

Track Listing: A Good Man Is Hard To Find; Guess Whos In Town; Rockin Chair; A Hundred Years From Today; It Dont Mean A Thing; Lullaby Of The Leaves; Goody Goody; All Of Me; What Is This Thing Called Love; Moments Like This; Take The A Train; Million Dollar Secret; Day Dream; I Cried For You; Maybe; Too Late Now; Peel Me A Grape; Blue Gardenia; Street Of Dreams; All That Jazz.

Personnel: Stephanie Nakasian: vocals; Hod OBrien: piano; Steve Gillmore: bass; Bill Goodwin: drums; Howie Collins: rhythm guitar; Randy Sandke: trumpet; Tod Hamilton: tenor sax; John Jensen: trombone.

Record Label: V.S.O.P. Records

Style: Vocal


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

A musician was found with a matching name

Name:

Birthday:

Instrument:

Is this you?