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Lisa Kirchner doesn't have an especially strong voice, but she is very creative as she applies it to the lyrics of songs she selects to sing. There are subtle renditions of such tunes as "Autumn Leaves" as she plays with the melody resulting in a novel interpretation of this and the other classic standards on this CD. There are also two new pieces and other material that Kirchner addresses in her unique, offbeat manner. The medley of two Brazilian tunes - - and neither one of them written by Jobim! - - "Coraçao Vagabundo"/"Berimbau" have catchy rhythms with which the singer performs vocal magic. Further evidence of the different approach Kirchner takes with the lyrics is detectable on "But Beautiful" where she takes the words at one pace while guitarist Ron Jackson plays at a slightly faster tempo making for an engaging contrast in tempo.
As many of her contemporaries do, Kirchner uses different sets of musicians for this session. Accordionist Walter Kuehr shows up to give a French bistro flavor to "Joana Francesa". This relaxed mood continues on the Kirchner composed "One More Rhyme" , a story filled with melancholia and musically well put together. James Weidman gets a good deal of piano time on this track. The singer's offering of "All or Nothing At All", done with a subtle Latin beat, matches performances of this song by such geniuses of the vocal arts as Sarah Vaughan, Chris Connor and June Christy. Kirchner's voice and expression comes closest to a combination of Christy and Sheila Jordan. But it's the sensitivity to music and lyrics and the way she works with her sidemen that brings her version to the level of these other singers. Kirchner manages to successfully combine ingredients of country and blues on "Red Sails".
The singer's father is Leon Kirchner, an important American classical composer having been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for one of his works. This album is strong evidence that his daughter has taken full advantage of these formidable musical genes. One More Rhyme is highly recommended. The lyrics are reprinted in the liner notes.
Track Listing: Lisa Kirchner - Vocals; James Weidman* - Piano; Marcus McLaurine - Bass; Dave Gibson* - Drums; Ron Jackson# - Guitar; Yosuke Inoue# - Bass; Jimmy Madison# - Drums; Walter Kuehr# - Accordion