All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

112

Lisa Sokolov: Presence

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Musical genres become extraneous on Presence, as originals, standards, folk, and R&B are transformed, through diva Lisa Sokolov’s texturally thick tones and changing tempos, into emotionally powerful encounters. Set in the context of a piano trio, Sokolov uses her lyrical dynamism, vocal range and innovative command of rhythm and phrasing to expand the boundaries of this conventional format.

The title piece is an original multitracked singing experience that sucks you in like a cyclone and then hurtles and lifts you higher and higher as the vocals envelop. Sokolov is adept at seizing upon what might otherwise be unnoticed aspects of a melody or lyric and artfully improvising upon them through stylistic and verbal free association creating compelling new compositions. William Parker’s “Hopefully” is turned into a powerful a capella vocal excursion whose religious fervor resurrects Janis Joplin, while the jazz/blues underpinnings of “Chain of Fools” are exposed in a stripped down piano trio arrangement.

Both “Home on the Range” and “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” become vehicles to pensively uplift, as Sokolov dovetails “Rise and Shine” into the latter and flavors the former with a modicum of Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies.” Cole Porter’s “You Do Something to Me” is a bass/vocal repartee with quickly shifting rhythms that has bassist Cameron Brown keeping up with Sokolov’s scat calisthenics. Pianist John DiMartino is also able to meet the demands of Sokolov’s stylistic deviations. He plays “out” on freer cuts like “Hard Being Human,” provides a classical/jazz feel to “For All We Know,” and contributes the appropriate speed-demon piano to “When I Die.” Sokolov wonderfully personalizes that Laura Nyro chestnut by adding to it a mother’s awe at the birth of her child that then transitions to a version of the traditional “Rock My Soul.” Being in the Presence of Lisa Sokolov will alter your conception of a female jazz vocalist.


Track Listing: Presence, Hopefully, Oh, What a Beautiful Morning, You Do SOmething to Me, Chain of Fools, Hard Being Human, Sons of, Water Lilies, And When I Die, As it Is, For All We Know, Home on the Range

Personnel: Lisa Sokolov (vocals, keyboards, composer), John DiMartino (piano), Cameron Brown (bass), Gerry Hemingway (drums)

Title: Presence | Year Released: 2004

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
A Quiet Thing

A Quiet Thing

Laughing Horse Records
2009

buy
 

Presence

Rhythm Zone
2003

buy

Related Articles

Read Jazz Tango CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Tango
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read The Berlin Concert CD/LP/Track Review
The Berlin Concert
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 18, 2018
Read IMA IMA CD/LP/Track Review
IMA IMA
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Breathe CD/LP/Track Review
Breathe
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Good Music CD/LP/Track Review
Good Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Stillness & Sirens CD/LP/Track Review
Stillness & Sirens
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 17, 2018
Read "We Call All Times Soon" CD/LP/Track Review We Call All Times Soon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 2, 2018
Read "Garden(s)" CD/LP/Track Review Garden(s)
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "Jersey" CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Sermon Organ Combo" CD/LP/Track Review Sermon Organ Combo
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 26, 2017
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017