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Tamuz Nissim: Echo of a Heartbeat

Jerome Wilson By

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Tamuz Nissim is a young woman in the classic mold of a jazz singer. She can interpret lyrics sensitively, breeze through instrumental pieces with adept use of vocalese and scatting, and even write her own songs. She is originally from Tel Aviv but has lived in New York since 2015 and has cultivated relationships with several of the city's top flight jazz musicians, some of whom appear on this set.

The light, sensitive feel of Nissim's voice is apparent from the first track, Jim Croce's "Time In A Bottle," where her singing floats high over the subtly driving rhythm laid down by James Weidman, Harvie S and Tony Jefferson. Her ability to perform jazzy vocal acrobatics is apparent both from her scatting passage on "Bottle" and the nimble vocalese she produces on Dexter Gordon's "Fried Bananas" and Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High." On the former, Weidman contributes fine, boppish piano and. on the latter, the bass of Harvie S does a close duet with Nissim as she wails with a freewheeling ease reminiscent of his more frequent duo partner, Sheila Jordan. On "Just Squeeze Me," Nissim shouts over a funky rolling bass-and-drum-groove and on "What A Little Moonlight Can Do" she leads the trio a merry chase with everyone sizzling at a blazing tempo and Weidman dropping in another dazzling solo.

Nissim also proves to be a quality songwriter, contributing three pieces of varying moods to this set. "My World" is a torchy ballad sung over a slow walking groove with conversational intimacy, "In The Melody's Shade" is a delicate waltz and the title song is a sultry number with shifting tempos and a bluesy undercurrent that recalls Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments." Nissim does some of her best singing here, understated yet passionate, and George Nazos injects a potent line of gently ringing electric guitar into the music.

Tamuz Nissim's voice carries both mature elegance and free-swinging power. She knows how to use it to blend in with other musicians and either swing or convey tender emotions. She is greatly talented and it will be interesting to watch her develop.

Track Listing: Time In A Bottle; Fried Bananas; My World; Just Squeeze Me; In The Melody's Shade; Groovin' High; Echo Of A Heartbeat; What A Little Moonlight Can Do; Smile.

Personnel: Tamuz Nissim: vocals; James Weidman: piano; George Nazos: guitar (tracks 7&9); Harvie S: bass; Tony Jefferson: drums.

Title: Echo of a Heartbeat | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Street of Stars

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