All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Ancestros CD/LP/Track Review
Ancestros
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Bitter Suite CD/LP/Track Review
The Bitter Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Ornettiquette CD/LP/Track Review
Ornettiquette
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Astral Revelations CD/LP/Track Review
The Astral Revelations
by John Sharpe
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Sound Of The Earth CD/LP/Track Review
The Sound Of The Earth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read "Unbroken" CD/LP/Track Review Unbroken
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 30, 2018
Read "Carpe Diem" CD/LP/Track Review Carpe Diem
by Don Phipps
Published: March 19, 2018
Read "Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review Horizons
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Cheek to Cheek" CD/LP/Track Review Cheek to Cheek
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 5, 2018
Read "The Ing..." CD/LP/Track Review The Ing...
by Geannine Reid
Published: November 8, 2018
Read "Heart Tonic" CD/LP/Track Review Heart Tonic
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 7, 2018