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Pauline Jean: A Musical Offering

James Nadal By

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The advent and enduring popularity of music videos has allowed artists to break out and garner an audience based on the recording and online posting of their live performances. This trend has been positive for vocalist Pauline Jean, whose mesmerizing performances of "Yoyo" and her signature song, "Dey/Rasenbleman," have led enthusiasts to seek out her 2009 release, A Musical Offering.

"Dey/Rasenbleman" is featured on the record, as well as "Ayiti Remember (Don't Cry)," both in tribute of her ancestral homeland of Haiti. Accompanied by percussionist Markus Schwartz on these tracks, Jean possesses the innate facility to sing in her Haitian native language, Kreyol, adding legitimacy to the interpretations. In the wake of the 2010 earthquake, Jean has been engaged in raising awareness of the ongoing crisis in that country.

There is a pleasant surprise in the opening "Love Must Be Catchin," a vintage Merle Travis country song. It's given a polished jazz renovation, with Corcoran Holt's stellar bass laying down the groove, as he does masterfully throughout the record.

Most of the material is an appealing repertoire of covers not overly performed so that they still sound fresh. Arranger/pianist Sharp Radway was given the task of laying the palette for Jean to display her vocal talents and contributed immensely to the final outcome.

Jean has been favorably compared to a several vocalists, but through confidence in her abilities, has developed her own voice. It has been said that a good jazz singer should invoke hornlike sounds, with shades of tones and phrasings that go well beyond just singing the lyrics, and this absolutely describes Pauline Jean. With over one hour of music, A Musical Offering steadfastly focuses Jean on her musical goals, creating a well-balanced record.

Track Listing: Love Must Be Catchin'; Blue Skies/Ciel Beu; Exactly Like You; I Thought About You; Plain Gold Ring; Searchin'; Dey/Rasenbleman; Ayiti Remember; Forget Me; Tell Me More And More And Then Some; Beautiful Friendship; Little Did We Know; Signature.

Personnel: Pauline Jean: vocals; Sharp Radway: piano; Corcoran Holt: bass; Alvin Atkinson, Jr.: drums; McClenty Hunter: drums (2, 10, 11); Markus Schwartz: percussion (7, 8); Marcelo Woloski: percussion (5, 6, 13); Jean Caze: trumpet (13); Thaddeus Hogarth: harmonica (6).

Title: A Musical Offering | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: SJR Sekonsa Jazz Records


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