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Gaea Schell: In Your Own Sweet Way

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Gaea Schell: In Your Own Sweet Way
Gaea Schell's In Your Own Sweet Way is a captivating journey through the realm of jazz that delivers a fresh perspective on a variety of compositional forms, including Latin-tinged originals to innovative interpretations of songs from the Great American Songbook. Although Schell originally grew up in Alberta, Canada and received her formal education in the piano-jazz studies program from McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec, she presently resides in San Francisco. She is joined on the project by some top Northern California musicians, including Jordan Samuels, John Wiitala, Greg Wyser-Pratte, plus Carlos Caro and Marco Diaz (also trumpet) on a few tracks.

On the opening original number "Cava dell'Isola," Schell offers a taste of her flute playing which is influenced by Cuban flautists, as well as her warm and nuanced approach to the piano. The first of the American Songbook standards is "Sweet & Lovely," which swings along in frisky fashion with Schell infusing a sense of playfulness and rhythm into her playing. Samuels' solo confirms he is a smart guitarist who is well-suited to ebullient swing.

The other two compositions that fall into this songbook category are the Isham Jones/Gus Kahn favourite "It Had To Be You" and the Dave Brubeck number he wrote for his wife Iola, "In Your Own Sweet Way." Schell's vocal interpretation of these two numbers, in addition to writing lyrics to the Brubeck composition, confirms that she is an accomplished vocalist with phrasing that endorses her understanding of the lyrics, and that gives the numbers a fresh quality. The other members of the quartet Samuels, Wiitala, and Wyser-Pratte engage in thoughtful interplay that is unscripted but not formless.

The balance of the recital is Schell's original compositions, including three Latin-inspired tune "Luna Plateada," "Danza Nocturna de Flores" and "Un Sueño de la Noche," in which Schell and each member of the band brings together their musical and instrumental dexterity for a fusion of Latin rhythms and jazz improvisation that leaves a lasting impression. The closer is "Perplexity" a straight-ahead chart in which Schell's piano-rich tones are readily captured along with her style and touch, as the rhythm section provides a solid foundation for her explorations.

Showcasing her mastery over the piano coupled with the use of dynamics and phrasing, Gaea Schell's album offers a compelling listening experience.

Track Listing

Cava dell'Isola; Sweet & Lovely; Forio Rain; El Picacho; It Had To Be You; Summer Sea; In Your Own Sweet Way; Luna Plateada; Danza Nocturna de Flores; Un Sueño da la Noiche; Perplexity.

Personnel

Album information

Title: In Your Own Sweet Way | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Saphu Records


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