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On Paper Cuts vocalist Sarah Pillow effortlessly whirls through twelve standards as she displays remarkable range and good command of the jazz language. With somewhat of an all-star lineup, which includes trumpeter Dave Douglas, vibraphonist Marc Wagnon, guitarist Van Manakas and a thoroughly swinging rhythm section, Ms Pillow hops through octaves, scats and displays near flawless pitch while vocalizing through these pieces with confidence and flair. - Ms Pillow offers the best of both worlds – as though she ‘lived the experience or story of each composition exemplified by her near flawless diction, control, changeless spirit and expansive vocal range............
Ella Fitzgerald’s “A-Tisket, A-Tasket is a rapid swing and features some fiery soloing from trumpeter Dave Douglas as Ms Pillow adds a bit of modern hipness to this jazz classic with seductively shrewd phrasing and finesse while displaying near operatic type discipline. Here and throughout, Wagnon and Manakas, (both members of the powerhouse prog-fusion band, “Tunnels”) show their equally proficient skills as jazz soloists. Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” gets a touch of “samba” treatment featuring swinging and groovin’ solos by Wagnon and Manakas as the band elicit imagery of – relaxing at a beach, sipping cool tropical drinks......... Ms Pillow renders a straightforward version of James Moody’s “Moody’s Mood for Love” and stretches her vocal chords in near flawless fashion on Toots Thielemanns” “Bluesette”, complimented by Dave Douglas’ mid to high register trumpet solo. On Clifford Brown’s “Joy Spring”, Douglas takes on the role of Clifford Brown as he waltzes through hard boppish lines while Ms Pillow handles the familiar theme and melody in immaculate fashion. The final piece, “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” is a delicate ballad performed as a duet between guitarist Van Manakas and Ms Pillow. Here, Manakas comps and performs soft lead guitar lines somewhat reminiscent of the great Kenny Burrell .........
Paper Cuts is a lively, upbeat and thoroughly engaging affair which showcases Ms Pillows extraordinary vocal talents as we bestow additional praise to the ensemble who perform with conviction and heart! Recommended! * * * *
Sarah Pillow; Vocals: Marc Wagnon; Vibraphone & Percussion: Van Manakas; Guitar: Dave Douglas; Trumpet: Leo Traversa; Bass: John Romagnoli; Drums (tracks 1,8,9,11): Adriano Santos; Drums (tracks 2,3,4,5,6,10)
For additional information check out the BuckyBall Records website; www.buckyballmusic.com
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.