172

Kendra Shank Quartet: Mosaic

By

Sign in to view read count
Kendra Shank is a complete vocalist—an appealing and intelligent interpreter of known and unknown material, a startlingly inventive improviser and the possessor of a rich, darkish voice that draws in the listener with feelings both familiar and brand new. Mosaic is a beautiful collection of tunes from favorite composers—some her friends, others her inspirations, all now her musical family.

Right from the start Shank makes it known that what matters is expressively emotional music through a poignant ballad reading of the Carole King pop hit "So Far Away." She's gorgeously complemented by the incandescent clarinet of Billy Drewes. Pianist Frank Kimbrough, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tony Romero—her regular group—lock together tightly but manage to give each other the space to expand. Drewes and guitarist Ben Monder are guests but they become part of the same dynamic.

Shank draws from composers as diverse as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Johnny Mandel on the longtime standard side and from some contemporary wizards such as Kirk Nurock and Kimbrough. Lyricists John and Paula Hackett turn Cedar Walton's "Mosaic" into "Life's Mosaic" and it's buoyed by the singer's mysterious "Eastern" improvisations and the tenor obligati by Drewes and Monder's sensitive guitar. Kimbrough and his wife, vocalist Maryanne DeProphetis, have contributed the noble "For Duke" and Shank finds the sensuous majesty in both the tune and its original inspiration. Nurock is a notably prolific composer of a broad array of tunes and Kendra mines treasure in two—the lightly anthemic "I'm Movin' On" (with lyrics by another vocalist, Judy Niemack) and the hymn-like adaptation of texts by the 13th century Sufi poet, Rumi, "I'll Meet You There."

Mosaic reflects what feels like just a part of Shank's vast and complex interests but it becomes, as with all of her recordings, a world unto itself.

Track Listing: So Far Away; Life's Mosaic; Reflections in Blue/Blue Skies; Laughing at Life/Smile; The Shining Sea; Water From Your Spring/Beautiful Love; For Duke; All of You; Time Remembered; I'm Movin' On; I'll Meet You There.

Personnel: Kendra Shank: voice; Frank Kimbrough: piano; Dean Johnson: bass; Tony Moreno: drums; Billy Drewes: soprano and tenor saxophones, clarinet; Ben Monder: guitar.

Title: Mosaic | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Challenge Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Atlantic Bridge" CD/LP/Track Review Atlantic Bridge
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "No Answer" CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Incidentals" CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Pekka" CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Masonic Lawn" CD/LP/Track Review Masonic Lawn
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Fly Or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly Or Die
by John Sharpe
Published: July 10, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor