by Michael P. Gladstone
New York-based jazz singer Barbara Sfraga is not afraid to take musical steps forward (or sideways) and that shows fully on Timelessness Frozen in Time. Previous albums Oh, What A Thrill( ( Naxos, 1998) and Under The Moon (A440, 2003) have exhibited Sfraga's ability to at least partially deconstruct the Great American Songbook and provide a sprinkling of originals. On this new effort, Sfraga has composed all but one of the tunes.
The sole non-Sfraga composition typifies the ...read more
by Franz A. Matzner
With her recent release, Under The Moon, singer/songwriter Barbara Sfraga has proven herself one of jazz’s foremost vocalists. More than willing to step away from standard arrangements and approach multiple genres, Sfraga is not only a talented performer, she’s an innovative arranger.
Catching up with Ms. Sfraga at this year’s International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) conference, it was my privilege to speak with her for a few moments about her album, approach to writing, and of course, jazz education. ...read more
by Jim Santella
Her teachers early on included Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan, Sal Mosca, Janet Lawson, and Jay Clayton. No wonder she’s so unique.
Barbara Sfraga is relatively new on the scene. The vocalist began leading her own band in 1990. Under The Moon is her second album. She proved on What A Thrill (Naxos) that her spontaneous and eclectic approach to jazz would draw from traditional blues roots as well as from more creative directions.
With her ...read more
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
One of the primo advantages of living near New York Cityï"aside from having a front seat at the Rudy and Hillary showï"is the infinite range of jazz venues. I've climbed up to the boxes in Carnegie Hall and the nosebleed seats at the Y, and down the vertical steps to the underground Village Vanguard. I've been knee-to-knee with stone-faced tourists in the Blue Note (aka the C Note, in honor of its cover charges), where they arguably serve the worst ...read more
by Elliott Simon
Singer Barbara Sfraga's sophomore effort draws from the artist's strength: retooling well-worn classics into lean arrangements that highlight her mastery of phrasing and rhythm. Although guitarist John McLean adds a bit of spice to several cuts, Sfraga is most at home riffing off her rhythm section that includes drummer Paul Wertico, percussionist Kevin Patrick and bassist Chris Sullivan. It is Sullivan whom Sfraga plays off best and the two have a keen insight into each other's style. ...read more
by AAJ Staff
Barbara Sfraga is one of those rare artists who is developing her own voice and style more and more with each recording. Her vocals contain elements of two of my favorite vocalists: Mark Murphy and Kitty Margolis. She is a risk taker that has established her own group sound on this new release. Each member of the ensemble has an individual voice, but together every players contributes to the whole vision that Sfraga has fashioned, or envisioned (perhaps both). One ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
I first encountered Barbara Sfraga on Oh, What a Thrill (Naxos Jazz), where I reflected upon the singer's remarkably broad-ranging, sensual, evocative voice. Under the Moon does not change that impression at all. Sfraga was more than bold on Oh, What a Thrill by coupling Angel Eyes" with Sunshine of Your Love." She has nothing so bold in her repertoire here, but her vocals remain fresh and exciting. Ms Sfraga is no newcomer, but her new album shows her more ...read more