Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

15

Elizabeth Shepherd: Signal

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Montreal-based singer Elizabeth Shepherd gently stirs jazz with an underground pop aesthetic in Signal. Similar to the fresh styles of contemporaries such as Esperanza Spalding and Gretchen Parlato, Shepherd's appeal is heard in her multifaceted gifts as a songwriter, musician, and composer; attributes which garnered her a Juno Award nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Album for her 2012 release Rewind (Linus Entertainment).

Signal takes a soulful groove-centric stance with tight rhythmic hooks and beats that would fit comfortably in a club-like setting as some tracks segue into one another like a DJ set mix. The music is on point with strong performances from Shepherd's band and the noticeable inclusion of guitarist Lionel Loueke who brings his signature West African styling on select tracks starting with the hypnotic opener "Willow."

First the music grabs you, Shepherd's keyboard skills providing groovy Fender Rhodes accents or trippy MOOG synth tones in "Lion's Den" a tune which develops into a serious groove with a Miles Davis Tutu-esque trumpet solo. Second, there are no syrupy love ballads or party-like-there's-no-tomorrow songs. Instead, these lyrics poetically address a range of social issues such as the exploitation of farmers ("B.T.Cotton"), gun violence/racial profiling ("Another Day") and a tribute to the perseverance of Mother Teresa ("I Gave").

Shepherd's inventive way with composition, words, and ideas is equally balanced throughout the album, heard in the way a funky acoustic bass vamp sways with a melodic vocal arrangement, sampled voices of historic figures in songs, or the tropical sound of steel pans. The title song based on a sampled loop creates Déjà vu lyric sequence between Shepherd and vocalist Alex Samaras as the two rich voices intricately intertwine and articulate an unconventional love story.

Shepherd'sSignal seductively draws you into its world and delivers music for both the mind and body.

Track Listing: Willow; What's Happening; B.T. Cotton; The Signal; Lion's Den; This; On Our Way; I Gave; Another Day; Baby Steps.

Personnel: Elizabeth Shepherd: vocals, Fender Rhodes, kalimba, sampling, piano, modified piano, MOOG; tuned bottles; Scott Kemp: bass, vocals (3, 6, 7, 8 ); Colin Kingsmore: drums (2-5, 9); Larnell Lewis: drums, vocals (6, 7, 9); Lionel Loueke: guitar, vocals (1, 6, 9); Ross MacIntyre: bass (1, 4, 5, 9, 10); John Maclean: clapping, flute, ngoni (1, 8, 10); Mark Mosca: steel pans (3); Alex Samaras: vocals (4 ); Scott Kemp: bass (2 ,3, 6-8); Yvette Tollar: vocals (9); Roman Tome: acoustic roar machine (5), drums (1, 10); Kevin Turcotte: trumpet (5, 10); Joshua Van Tassel: drums (8).

Title: Signal | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Linus Entertainment

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Signal

Signal

Linus Entertainment
2014

buy
Heavy Falls The Night

Heavy Falls The Night

Do It Right Music
2010

buy
 

Parkdale

Queering The Black Circle
2008

buy
 

Besides - Sampler One

Queering The Black Circle
2007

buy
 

Besides - Sampler Two

Queering The Black Circle
2007

buy
 

Besides

Queering The Black Circle
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Drum Solos For Dancers Only CD/LP/Track Review
Drum Solos For Dancers Only
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura CD/LP/Track Review
Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read His Flight's At Ten CD/LP/Track Review
His Flight's At Ten
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read First Lines CD/LP/Track Review
First Lines
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Live At Cafe Amores CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Cafe Amores
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read The Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Tale
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 17, 2018
Read "e.s.t. live in london" CD/LP/Track Review e.s.t. live in london
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 4, 2018
Read "Flying" CD/LP/Track Review Flying
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 19, 2018
Read "Tenderness is Silent" CD/LP/Track Review Tenderness is Silent
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 29, 2018
Read "The Nook" CD/LP/Track Review The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "Radiant Imprints" CD/LP/Track Review Radiant Imprints
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 8, 2018
Read "Daddy Said So" CD/LP/Track Review Daddy Said So
by Jim Worsley
Published: March 2, 2018