145

Melissa Walker: I Saw the Sky

By

Sign in to view read count
Canadian born Melissa Walker decided to break off law studies to become a barrister at the court of song, and wasn't that a bit of luck for us. On this her third Enja release, Walker proves conclusively that great standards need never when in the hands of an imaginative stylist able to restore their magic and glitter. Walker uses a variety of vocal modes and instrumental backup to deliver a set of special interpretations. A string quarter opens "Some Other Time" and then Walker startles with her pure soprano which starkly contrasts with the deep coloration of the strings. Continuing to find ways to use sidemen with ingenuity, they take a chorus on "The Face I Love" with Stefon Harris' vibes taking the lead. More contrast here as Walker wheels along in a much slower pace than that employed by Harris and cohorts as Walker intuitively works within and around the beat. Good stuff! "Let's Take an Old Fashioned Walk" reveals a debt to Sarah Vaughan, before Vaughan moved on to diva status with plummeting and plunging deliveries. But of all the tunes on the play list, it's a poignant and wishful thinking "I Get Along without You Very Well" where Walker gives a clinic on how to caress a lyric. Shunning dramatics, she employs gentleness, on the mark pitch and knowing phrasing to recite the story embedded in one of Hoagy Carmichael's finest compositions. Once more Harris' vibes provide the cushion that allows Walker to effortlessly glide through this lovely tune without excess emotional display. There is a smattering of lesser known and original material on the play list. One of the more expressive is "Return to Me", expressively arranged by Makoto Ozone, which gives Walker an opportunity to glide between soft and powerful regions of her vocal chords.

While such guest artists as Kenny Barron are a nice extra attraction, it's the steady rhythm section led by pianist/arranger Shedrick Mitchell that deserves the award for best supporting musicians.


Track Listing: I'm old Fashioned; Some Other Time; Nothing ever Changes My Love for You; My Shining Hour; I Saw the Sky; Twilight Song; I Get Along without You Very Well; Let's Take an old Fashioned Walk; The Face I Love; Return to Me; I'm in Love

Personnel: Melissa Walker - Vocal; Shedrick Mitchell, Kenny Barron, Makoto Ozone - Piano; Kiyoshi Kitagawa - Bass; Clarence Penn - drums; Stefon Harris - Vibes/Marimba; Vesselin Gellev, Deborah Bock - Violin; Olga Terlitsky - Viola; Ann Kim - Cello

| Record Label: Enja Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Henry" CD/LP/Track Review Henry
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Sinking Houseboat Confusion" CD/LP/Track Review Sinking Houseboat Confusion
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Troy Collins
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "I Walk Amongst Humans" CD/LP/Track Review I Walk Amongst Humans
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!