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The contemporary refrains from vocalist Ellen Honert on Breath of the Soul run smooth and sleek, and with a distinctive eloquence. She favors smooth jazz with a soulful message that comes from within. Guest artists such as Tuck & Patti, steel drummer Andy Narell, saxophonist Marc Russo, guitarist Ray Fuller and The Turtle Island String Quartet provide plenty of variety to her session, as she interprets six original songs and several other familiar ones.
From The Netherlands, Honert connected with the San Francisco jazz scene readily for this album. As she and Tony Lindsay sing George Duke's "Someday, you can feel the vibrations in the air, while Stevie Wonder's "If It's Magic lets the ambience settle down more heart-to-heart. Pop music, Brazilian airs, sensual ballads and smooth jazz meanderings give the session much appeal.
Pianist Frank Martin supports with a clarion call that achieves a smart musical purpose. That each arrangement comes with an easy swing or other natural attachment makes it easy to fall in love with the music. Honert keeps things up-close and personal with her easygoing manner and expert musicality. As she sings the timeless standard "Never Let Me Go alone at the piano, you can feel each phrase soak up the passion as Honert belies the title of her album with a sincere release of emotion. Breath of the Soul convinces.
Track Listing: Blue; Life is What You Make It; Spring; Two Lonely People; Someday; Love Dance; Hope; If Itís Magic; Got to Get You Into My Life; Away; Never Let Me Go; Inspiratie.
Personnel: Ellen Honert: vocals, piano (11); Frank Martin: keyboards; Dori Caymmi: vocals, guitar; Pedro Eustache: flute; Abraham Laboriel, Sr., Joel Smith: bass; Alex AcuŮa: drums, percussion; William Kennedy: drums; Ray Fuller: guitar; Patti Cathcart: vocals (2); Tuck Andress: guitar (2); Evan Price, David Balakrishnan: violin (3); Mads Tolling: viola (3); Mark Summer: cello (3); Tony Lindsay: vocals (5); Marc Russo: alto saxophone (5); Abraham Laboriel, Jr.: drums (5); Andy Narell: steel pans (7); Joseph Hebert: cello (12).
I love jazz because I enjoy the freedom.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was 17.
I met Cedar Walton at a concert in San Paulo.
The best show I ever attended was Helio Jambao trio.
The first jazz record I bought was Witchcraft by George Benson.
My advice to new listeners is listen to the old school first.