3

Sara Gazarek: Blossom & Bee

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
All chicken or feathers, feast or famine, flood or drought; regarding jazz vocal releases, there is always a healthy steady stream of new music being produced. The vast majority is good while, as it should be, the truly exceptional are of a rarer variety. The release of Kate McGarry's exceptional Girl Talk (Palmetto, 2012) might have been just a singular event of excellence, except that Sara Gazarek decided to join McGarry at Palmetto records, releasing the equally fine Blossum & Bee, signaling a trend of excellence in jazz vocals released over a compressed event horizon.

Vocalist Gazarek has already had a banner year, considering her collaboration with Triosence on Where Time Stands Still (Charleston Square, 2012). Add to this her Palmetto recording and the singer might be found attaining artistic cruising altitude. Gazarek considers herself an "interpreter" or "song stylist," not unlike Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett, as opposed to a vocal gymnast capable of scat or vocalese fireworks. Her interpretive ability is true and her style is a perfect updating of what the song stylist does.

Gazarek ensures her comfort zone with the presence of her Los Angeles- based trio: pianist Josh Nelson, bassist Hamilton Price and drummer Zach Harmon. She is also joined and supported by producer Larry Goldings, who provides organ, piano and melodica support, and an appearance by guitarist vocalist John Pizzarelli, who capably duets with Gazarek on her own "Blossom & Bee," singing sweetly and providing that 1930s guitar sound to the retro-related piece. The sum of this band is that it facilitates Garzarek's global creative vision in delightfully unexpected ways.

Garzarek's confident voice and sure ear enable her to capably sing across genre and periods. The opening "Everything I've Got" sounds every bit Rodgers and Hart updated with a very smart and shiny contemporary arrangement. This is very much old wine poured into a new wineskin with all of the show tune charm with tasteful instrumental updating. The Gazarek-Nelson original "Fly Away Birdie" is softly gospel-R&B, with Nelson playing electric piano in solution with Golding's soulful organ. Again, an inventive coupling of the old and new.

A thoroughly contemporary and appropriately performed "The Luckiest" is a Ben Folds composition close to Gazarek, having had a place at her wedding. "Lucky to be Me" is given a power-ballad reading, with drummer Harmon providing expansive percussion that sweeps the song along. Old standbys "Tea for Two" and "I'm Old Fashioned" follow Gazarek's already established formula of genius modern interpretation that does not go so far as to ruin the material. Her progressively conservative spirit is what broadens the center of her interpretations. Her closing with Schoolhouse Rock's "Unpack Your Adjectives" shows that no material is off limits to this talent singer, who is sure to keep delighting with the highest quality.



Promo by Google



Are you looking for a way to save money on auto insurance? We've taken the mystery out of this confusing subject by outlining 10 simple steps to saving money while getting the best coverage for yourself and your car. Welcome:
Auto Insurance


Track Listing: Everything I've Got; Blossom & Bee; Fly Away Birdie; The Luckiest; Down With Love; Lucky To Be Me; Tea For Two; I'm Old Fashioned; So This Is Love; The Lies Of Handsome Men; Some Of These Days; Unpack Your Adjectives.

Personnel: Sara Gazarek: voice; Josh Nelson: piano; Hamilton Price: bass; Zach Harmon: drums; John Pizzarelli: voice, guitar; Larry Goldings: piano, melodica, organ.

Title: Blossom & Bee | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Beginnings CD/LP/Track Review Beginnings
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Synchronic CD/LP/Track Review Synchronic
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Some Great Songs Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Some Great Songs Vol. 2
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Radioactive Landscapes EP" CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Alameda Gardens" CD/LP/Track Review Alameda Gardens
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Confidences" CD/LP/Track Review Confidences
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 3, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.