by Jim Santella
Singer/songwriter Shirley Eikhard puts it all together on her own. Her accompaniment comes about through multi-tracking: she plays all the instruments. A string section, lovely guitar melodies, programmed percussion, a versatile bass line, and intricately woven keyboard thoughts blend together in Eikhard’s songs. Stay Open represents a departure from her straight-ahead formula, and a wider jazz boundary that includes folk, R&B and pop.
“How Low Can You Go” and “Aren’t We Clever” feature a sparkling guest sextet accompanying ...read more
by Jim Santella
Singer/songwriter Shirley Eikhard brings a special vibrancy to jazz. Her intimate vocal style is made for a small room filled with listeners who want to enjoy the pleasures. The title track for this, her 10th album, gives a clue. It's a smooth jazz session for that time of day when you just want to forget what's been happening. Yeah, there are more days like that than preferred. Eikhard fills the room with nine of her compositions. Mostly instrumentals, the songs ...read more
by Robert Spencer
Ah, la Shirley. Smoky-voiced, sensual, Shirley Eikhard has the full low tones of Sarah Vaughn and the bold spiritedness of Cleo Laine. Not only is her singing emotionally powerful, but, unusually enough, she wrote the songs that serve as its vehicle here. They range from intimate bossa nova ("Desperately") to up-tempo jazz ("Nothin' Like Love," Crazy from the Heat") to smoky, bluesy torch ballad ("About Last Night") to time-twisting explorations ("Easy Sailin'" and the funky A Little Fun").
Nor is ...read more