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by Bill Leikam
Kendra Shank and the Geoffrey Keezer TrioDouglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, CAJuly 25, 2010 Having never heard Kendra Shank but respecting Geoffrey Keezer whose work on the piano is nothing shy of surprising and always engaging this concert at the Douglas Beach House on July 25, 2010 was a must see. Geoff had played the Douglas Beach House several times over the past couple of years and so he was known by the audience. ...read more
by Robert Bush
Kendra Shank QuartetSaville Theater, San Diego City College San Diego, CaJuly 20, 2010 Jazz vocalist Kendra Shank has been a New Yorker for 12 years. She's quite active on the scene, frequently collaborating with pianist Frank Kimbrough. She's released several critically acclaimed albums recently, specifically Mosaic( Challenge 2009), and Spirit Free: The Abbey Lincoln Songbook (Challenge 2007). Before settling in New York, she lived in Seattle for 18 years, studying with vocalist Jay Clayton, ...read more
by Donald Elfman
Kendra Shank is a complete vocalist--an appealing and intelligent interpreter of known and unknown material, a startlingly inventive improviser and the possessor of a rich, darkish voice that draws in the listener with feelings both familiar and brand new. Mosaic is a beautiful collection of tunes from favorite composers--some her friends, others her inspirations, all now her musical family. Right from the start Shank makes it known that what matters is expressively emotional music through a poignant ...read more
by J Hunter
The beginning of Kendra Shank's new disc Mosaic doesn't bode well, as it opens with a song specifically sculpted for radio airplay. The track--a very beautiful, very faithful rendition of So Far Away," Carole King's second-best ballad--would be equally at home on either Smooth Jazz radio or Adult Contemporary outfits looking to sound hip. The good news is that the rest of Mosaic stays very far away from the commercial direction of that first cut.
Consumers who purchase the disc ...read more
by Joel Roberts
An album devoted to Abbey Lincoln's glorious compositions is such an obvious and appealing idea it's a wonder it's taken so long for someone to do it. For decades, Lincoln has written one gorgeous song after another, imbued with passion, emotion and her wise lyrical observations on life, love and loss. Yet while almost every major and minor figure in jazz has been the subject of a tribute album, Lincoln's was nowhere to be found. Until now, that is.read more
by Jerry D'Souza
It is always a pleasure discovering something new, even if that new" has been around for a while. So it is with Kendra Shank, as complete a jazz singer as one could wish for. And on this her third album, Shank sings to tunes composed by Duke Ellington, Abbey Lincoln, Kurt Weill, Ralph Towner and The Beatles. That nails the concept of the singer she is, dead center.
Shank who was once a folk singer made her recording debut in ...read more
by Mathew Bahl
Although many vocalists pay only lip service to the ideas of “using the voice as an instrument” and the singer “working as part of the group,” on her third CD, Kendra Shank delivers spectacularly on both fronts. Ms. Shank had already set herself apart as a singer who was deeply committed to jazz but unwilling to traffic in the usual jazz singing clichés. What makes Reflections her finest effort yet is an added willingness to open up and expose herself ...read more