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Vocalist Olivia Foschi joins a group of young singers intent on changing the jazz vocals landscape by framing standards in anything other than standard ways. Tierney Sutton is the leader of this new direction, followed by Gretchen Parlato, Jacqui Sutton, Laurie Antonioli and Renee Yoxon and Mark Ferguson. Using the standard acoustic jazz ensembles, these singers use thoughtful arrangements and unique instrumentation to color the time-tested songbook. Foschi brings her airy soprano and her rich vision to such a collection of standards and originals on Perennial Dreamer.
Foschi opens the disc with the standard "Here's That Rainy Day" establishing a light and swinging environment deepened by Gregoire Maret's lyrical harmonica imparting a pastoral hue to the piece. The rhythm-section arrangement is breezy without being free, intricately crocheted of finely-crafted note choice and harmonic augmentation. The song arrangement demonstrates the importance of Stevie Wonder to, not only pop music, but jazz and adult contemporary also, where he opened the harmonic palette, particularly using electric keyboards. Foschi incorporates these elements with a facile intelligence complementing her whimsical voice to great effect.
Personnel: Olivia Foschi: vocals; Miki Hayama: keys; Michael Olatuja: bass; David
Rosenthal: guitar; Ulysses Owens Jr.: drums; Gregoire Maret: harmonica; Mike Cottone:
flugelhorn; Stacy Dillard: tenor saxophone; Cory Pesaturo: accordion.
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.