Spurred on no doubt by the growing popularity of the “smooth” jazz radio format, singer/pianist Carol Welsman’s latest CD is a decidedly middle-of-the-road affair. Though she’s often billed as a “jazz” singer, Hold Me contains a whole lot of “pop” and precious little jazz. Welsman floats through this 12-track collection without ever breaking a sweat, rarely displaying the vocal/piano chops she’s famous for. Hold Me is a decent easy-listening album but, as Clara Peller used to say – “Where’s the beef?” Classic tunes like "Night and Day" mixed with modern-day compositions by pop stars like Sting and Billy Joel make for less than challenging fare. This is the sort of album that fans of Diana Krall, Canada’s other fetching singer/pianist, hope she never makes. ###
Title: Hold Me
| Year Released: 2001
| Record Label: Justin Time
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.