This is Armenian-born singer Sara Yervand's debut recording, and I like her jazz sensibilities. The ten tracks are comprised of mostly the same old standards that you've heard quite a bit, but Yervand and a fine group lift them a notch or two through their performance.
The recording begins with a rarely heard vocal version of Victor Young's "Beautiful Love," surely one of the favorite tunes of the late Bill Evans. Yervand takes the piece at a sprightly mid-tempo pace with some stimulating trumpet work by Dave Cooper. Another jazz standard that you don't hear sung very often, "Moon Ray," is given a similar reading that totally swings! A slightly Latinized "Speak Low" is given a nice pickup by the tenor sax solo of Anders Svanoe (who also shows up with two nice baritone solos elsewhere). Cellist Matt Turner opens "Manha de Carnaval" with a stirring statement and then later adds more when the bossa rhythm has kicked in. Turner later contributes beautiful work on "How Long Has This Been Going On?"
Sara Yervand's presentation is that of a seasoned jazz vocalist, and although you can detect a very faint accent on some of the up-tempo numbers, it should not interfere with your enjoyment of the music.
Beautiful Love; But Beautiful; Speak Low; Moon Ray; Manha de Carnaval (A Day In The Life
Of A Fool); It's All Right With Me; How Long Has This Been Going On?; Fly Me To The Moon;
Love For Sale; Lush Life.
Sara Yervand: vocals; Dave Stoler, Armen Donelian: piano; Jim Paolo: bass; Dane Richeson:
drums, percussion; Dave Cooper: trumpet; Anders Svanoe: saxophones; Matt Turner: cello.