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It's truly a treat to witness the growth of an artist. Vocalist Sophie Milman confesses that she didn't know much about music when she made her first record but her natural talent and lovely grace has helped her get through. So this Russian nativenow a resident of Canada with time in Israel in betweenhas released Make Someone Happy, showing just how far she's come. Milman has always had a way with a lyric and poise well beyond her yearsintelligent and beautifully timed phrasing seem second nature to herbut her voice has grown richer and more expressive in the few years since her first outing.
Make Someone Happy is her newest showcase for intimate singing and smart song choice. This is a mix of show music, some pop tunes and new songs from the pens of friends and associates. It's a joy to hear the relaxed swing Milman puts forth on "Matchmaker" and "Like Someone in Love," complemented by the smooth playing of her band. Listen to how she wisely changes the title tune from a kind of daffy anthem to a personal life choice. In that same vein, she makes "Bein' Green" a personal statement about trying to make a difference while being unique.
This terrific collection of tunesthat also features guest turns by Guido Basso on flugelhorn, Gregoire Maret on harmonica and Randy Bachman on electric guitarends with the Hebrew song "Eli, Eli." It's a stunning and dark prayer that demonstrates Milman's smarts and individuality. With some truly personal and timeless singing, the brilliant musical direction of producer Steven MacKinnon and the touching playing of pianist Paul Shrofel and cellist Jill Vitols, Milman wraps up this beautiful package that demands immediate re-opening.
Track Listing: People Will Say We're In Love; Something in the Air Between Us; Rocket Love; So Long You Fool; Matchmaker, Matchmaker; Like Someone in Love; Make Someone Happy; (It's Not Easy) Bein' Green; Reste (Stay); Fever; Undun; It Might as Well Be Spring; Eli, Eli (A Walk to Caesarea).
Personnel: Sophie Milman: vocals; Paul Shrofel: piano; Kieran Overs: bass; John Fraboni: drums; Rob Piltch: guitar; Alan Hetherington: percussion; Anne Lindsay, Jenny Thompson: violins; Claudio Vena: viola; Jill Vitols: cello; Gregoire Maret: harmonica; Guido Baso: flugelhorn: John Johnson: flute; Cameron Wallis: reeds; Dennis Kelde: Hammond B-3; Randy Bachman: electric guitar.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.