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Aneta George & Martin Milcent Trio: Playground

Ljubinko Zivkovic By

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Vocalists who are relatively new to jazz tend to play it safe and often stick to a tried-and-true set of standards, as close as possible to the interpretations of those standards they are familiar with. You really have to be brave and sure of your compositional and vocal capabilities to come up with a full set of originals which discerning listeners would be satisfied with.

On Playground, Aneta George, a relative newcomer to jazz, shows both bravery and the assuredness needed to come up with all-original material which is worth more than a cursory listen. Born in the recently re-named country of North Macedonia, and now working and living in France, she originally started out as a soul/pop singer, favoring pop stars like Stevie Wonder and Boys II Men. She started piano studies late, with no proper piano training to start with, and only took vocal training a few years back when she moved to Paris.

But, if you've got talent, it is never too late, and on *Playground* Aneta shows plenty of it, as a composer and a vocalist. With excellent support from the Martin Milicent Trio, she is able to come up with some excellent compositions, such as "Give it time," the title track and "Stronger." George seems confident in the jazz territory, with some great vocal skills, without completely abandoning her soul/pop roots. Even when her songs show room for further development, like "Wounded Animal," her vocal skills and the trio pull her through, without too many problems, following it up with vocal capabilities full of promise on "Radishani-Chatenoy." Playground certainly leaves room for improvement but, at the same time, is assured and accomplished, pointing in the right direction for a very promising vocalist and composer.

Track Listing: Give it time; Ready to go; Chessboard; Playground; Stronger; Wounded Animal; Radishani-Chatenoy; White wine; Feel this way; The time has come; Simple;

Personnel: Aneta George: vocal; Martin Milcent: piano; Marius Gerin: electric bass; Elie Akkouche: drums;

Title: Playground | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Moods & Modes

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