How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Weaver of Dreams marks Kansas City chanteuse Angela Hagenbach's national debut. Lucky listeners already familiar with her work will know that she's been working in jazz for ten years. Previous albums, including the remarkable Feel the Magic, and touring abroad has served as excellent dues-paying and her smoky voice and musicianship clearly deserve their debutante ball.
This album, a mix of ballads and latin swing, showcases her vocal skills, featured on tracks like "Street of Dreams" with deliciously dizzying scatting, "Now's the time," a tribute to Charlie Parker, where she zips through the lyrics like the way Bird blew his saxophone, and the breezy "Return to Paradise," with the infectious beat cooly shuffling behind her voice lilting and dipping and winding around the words. She does Latin equally well, having a particular knack for Brazilian flavoring. She burns up the airwaves with her ensemble Musa Nova on tracks like the Ellington-penned "Caravan" and "It Had Better Be Tonight."
Hagenbach's voice might remind one of Shirley Horn in its rich deep tone, but where Horn stylizes with pauses and working in conjunction with her piano, Hagenbach has a wider range and sings more aggressively, fitting well within the total orchestration. She improvises with great ease. She's listened to the albums of the legends and no doubt her own studies on the trombone and percussion have helped developed her scat talents. Weaver of Dreams comes well-recommended to fans of vocal jazz and Hagenbach is a new young musician whose career will be exciting to watch.
Track Listing: You Turned the Tables on Me, Simone, Autumn's Flame, You Do Something To Me, Return to Paradise, Altos de Chavon, Street of Dreams, Now's the Time, Sometimes I'm Happy, It Had Better Be Tonight, Angel Eyes, Caravan.
Personnel: Angela Habenbach, vocals; Danny Embrey, guitar; Joe Cartwright, piano; Bob Bowman, acoustic bass; Steve Rigazzi, electric bass; Greg Carroll, vibes; Gary Helm, percussion; Todd Stright, drums; Doug Aurwarter, drums & percussion