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).

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Little Angel Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Hungarian Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Hungarian Noir
by James Nadal
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "Wheel of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Wheel of Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "Sets The Standard" CD/LP/Track Review Sets The Standard
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 14, 2016
Read "Once & Future" CD/LP/Track Review Once & Future
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!