3

Lisa Engelken: Lisa Engelken - Little Warrior

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Lisa Engelken: Lisa Engelken - Little Warrior Polymathic in her talent and approach, vocalist Lisa Engelken further cements her status as a far-reaching artist, established on the previous Caravan (Self Produced, 2010), with the present Little Warrior. Described as, "part freight train, part junkyard trombone," Engelken is 100% an American, hailing from the Kansas heartland where she obviously picked up fluency in Portuguese, French, Spanish and Italian, all of which she shares with us. What of the music? The music is pleasantly all over the place.

Engelken employs a traditional jazz piano trio, supplemented by additional voices both instrumental and human. With this, she makes music that sounds like fusion cuisine tastes. It is easy to identify the elements that make up the sum individually, but that sum is something quite new and refreshing. For example, Engelken's original "Housemate From Hell" is indeed a "serpentine ensemble a la Kurt Weill and Tom Waits," were those two to meet at the crossroads at midnight, sharing a snifter of brandy. Pure Broadway by way of the Bowery (or Skid Row out West). Bob Reich's accordion adds that perfect connection between Weill and Waits while powerfully melded with Engelken's power and precise vocals.

Jazz standards? If you call "Undertow" (the vocal arrangement of Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti") and Chick Corea's "Sea Journey" standards. Gratefully, there is no "My Funny Valentine." Instead, Engelken covers the aforementioned Tom Waits' "Blue Valentines" as an off- kilter ballad (what else?) that was made for an off-Broadway production of Moon for the Misbegotten. Performed with only piano and bass, "Valentines" has the smell of soft leather soiled with single-malt whiskey. This is pan- sensual music: tactile, fragrant, loud and bright. Think a very hip Barbra Streisand sans the cult of personality. It is a good direction in which to be going.

Track Listing: Foggy Bottom; Viva La Felicita; You Where Those Eyes; Throw It Away; Housemate From Hell; Little Warrior; Undertow; Sea Journey; Cold Blue Steel & Sweet Fire; Blue Valentines; All I Do Is Dream Of You.

Personnel: Lisa Engelken: vocals; Bill Cantos: piano and Hammond B3; Sam Bevan: bass; Matthew Swindells: drums; Joel Behrman: trumpet, trombone (2-4, 6-9); Erik Jekabson: trumpet, flugelhorn (1, 4-7, 9); Mike Olmos: trumpet (3); Evan Francis: flute (2, 3, 6, 9); Robert Roth: tenor saxophone (1, 6, 7, 9); Matt Heulitt: guitar (1, 3); Carlos Oliviera: guitar (2); Rob Reich: accordion (5); Brian Rice: percussion (2, 3, 6); Dan Feizil: tambourine; Christie Winn: background vocals (2, 3); Jennifer Lee: background vocals (2); Carey Williams: background vocals (2).

Title: Lisa Engelken - Little Warrior | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Little Angel Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth
by Doug Collette
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Live At The High Noon" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Tracé Provisoire" CD/LP/Track Review Tracé Provisoire
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Sus" CD/LP/Track Review Sus
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "A Social Call" CD/LP/Track Review A Social Call
by James Nadal
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Bloodroot" CD/LP/Track Review Bloodroot
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 10, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.