152

Sachal Vasandani: Eyes Wide Open

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Sachal Vasandani: Eyes Wide Open Time was when a young good looking velvet-voiced male vocalist equally proficient in the jazz and pop genres had it made. While that is certainly no longer true, Eyes Wide Open reminds why that was the case. This is no nostalgia trip however, and although there are a couple of Strayhorn and Jobim tunes, the session is, in fact, very contemporary.

Born in Chicago and now a fulltime NYC resident, Vasandani has found many cozy NYC venues that are custom-made for his persona and warm vocals. His vocal quality and phrasing is very engaging and remind a bit of pop superstar John Mayer. In fact, songs like "Naked as We Came, whose lyric provides the CD's titular inspiration, with its catchy piano, guitar breaks and relaxed mood, could be quite at home on the pop charts. The trio—bassist David Wong, drummer Quincy Davis and keyboardist Jeb Patton—are well acquainted with each other and do not stray far from these melodies. The guests, that include vibraphonist Stefon Harris, trumpeter Marcus Printup and guitarist Doug Wamble, provide the most frank improvisation. Harris adds touching augmentation, Printup lends his beautifully bluesy horn and Wamble seems perfectly suited for the more ostensibly pop arrangements.

Three originals also showcase writing skills that are as immediately appealing as Vasandani's voice: "Send 'Em Up to Heaven is a Latin-tinged 9/11 paean that has Harris adding an uplifting turn, "Please Mr. Oglivy is a highly personal appeal that will resonate with independent artists everywhere and "Storybook Fiction is a beautifully intimate kismet love fantasy. Stylistically, the band is the perfect match for Vasandani's arresting voice and with producer John Clayton (Diana Krall and Michael Bublé) this all comes together for a session which is most pleasing jazz/pop for the young generation.

Track Listing: Naked As We Came; Please Mr. Ogilvy; A Flower Is A Lonesome Thing; Its Only Love That Gets You Through; Storybook Fiction; Strange Things Happening; Send 'Em Up To Heaven; I Could Have Told You; I was Just One More for You; September In The Rain; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; You Won't Forget Me.

Personnel: Sachal Vasandani: vocals; Quincy Davis: drums; Jeb Patton: piano, Rhodes; David Wong: acoustic bass; Stefon Harris: vibes and marimba (2, 7, 12); Marcus Printup: trumpet (6, 8 11); Doug Wamble: guitar (1, 5, 9, 11).

Title: Eyes Wide Open | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Loafer's Hollow" CD/LP/Track Review Loafer's Hollow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "Burnt Hibiscus" CD/LP/Track Review Burnt Hibiscus
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Endemic Ensemble: Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Endemic Ensemble: Tangled
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Alpha Nebula Expanded: The Monster Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Alpha Nebula Expanded: The Monster Peace
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 24, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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