All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Lisa Engelken: Lisa Engelken - Little Warrior

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
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

Related Articles

Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by John Kelman
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Selective Coverage CD/LP/Track Review
Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "Beloved of The Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Beloved of The Sky
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: May 29, 2018
Read "Like A Radio" CD/LP/Track Review Like A Radio
by Doug Collette
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "Thelonious Sphere Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Thelonious Sphere Monk
by Kevin Press
Published: February 1, 2018
Read "Bright Force" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Friends & Family" CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Family
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "Horizontal Dialogues" CD/LP/Track Review Horizontal Dialogues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 8, 2017