All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

10

Kristina Koller: Perception

Jerome Wilson By

Sign in to view read count
Kristina Koller is a 23-year-old vocalist who shows a knack for mixing things up on her debut album. Her song list contains venerable standards along with original material and songs by fairly recent rock acts like Blink-182 and Bon Iver, while her arrangements of the material encompasses everything from mainstream acoustic jazz to hip-hop and funk.

As a result you get versions of "I'll Remember April" and "Blame It On My Youth" that sport elegant acoustic piano underlined by easy-riding hip-hop beats while "I Miss You," a gloomy rant by the pop-punk band Blink-182, becomes a sophisticated jazz ballad. "Nice Work If You Can Get It" is powered by a hammering piano line more suited to a prog rock setting, and "You Go To My Head" is treated as sleek urban funk. No matter how the music changes from track to track, Koller's singing makes it all work. Her voice projects a melodic innocence and honesty that gives the set a sense of unity.

That sense of musical adventurism carries on through her original songs. "Utopia" is a carefree little swing tune with Koller accompanying herself on ukulele, "You're Here Now" is moody electric-piano-led funk, and "Our Lives" moves along on a simple, dramatic piano line that could have been written by Carole King. "Simplicity," credited jointly to Koller, pianist Fima Chupakhin and bassist Chris Talio, is a frisky bit of trio jamming that shows Koller can sing straight up-tempo jazz as convincingly as ballads or slinky soul.

The most involved and impressive arranging of the set comes on Bob Dorough's "Devil May Care." Tango rhythms, trumpet, ghostly voices, electric piano and murky beats all get mixed together to give the song a sensual groove that the late Mr. Dorough himself would probably have liked.

Kristina Koller has a fearless musical curiosity that leads her to blend all sorts of elements together into a variety of fresh sounds, and sing over them with complete assurance and ease. She has produced a strong first effort and it'll be fun to see where she goes from here.

Track Listing: You Go To My Head; Simplicity; I'll Remember April; You're Here Now; Skinny Love; Nice Work If You Can Get It; Blame It On My Youth; Utopia; I'll Know; Devil May Care; I Miss You; Our Lives

Personnel: Kristina Koller: voice & ukulele; Fima Chupakhin: piano; Chris Talio: bass; Joe Spinelli: drums; Nick Brust: tenor sax(track 5); Josh Evans: trumpet(track 10); Gabe Valle: violin(track 12); Michael King: piano(track 7); Eric Wheeler: bass(track 7); Darrian Douglas: drums(track 7)

Title: Perception | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Twio" CD/LP/Track Review Twio
by Phil Barnes
Published: May 2, 2018
Read "Marfa Loops Shouts and Hollers" CD/LP/Track Review Marfa Loops Shouts and Hollers
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 28, 2018
Read "Moments Before" CD/LP/Track Review Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "Provenance" CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "One Day It Will" CD/LP/Track Review One Day It Will
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 7, 2018
Read "Cuban Nocturne" CD/LP/Track Review Cuban Nocturne
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 7, 2017