I often use the term "organic" to describe music. When I use this term in describing Kreb's Simple Gifts, I summon the visions, sounds, and smells of my Grandparents home in rural Arkansas and their chicken-coup-turned-storage-shed that swelled from humidity and was perfumed deeply of dust and humus in the near-cool Fall days of October around Logan County Fair time. Krebs' recording is that potent, fecund, and essential. It is an extension of the same pioneered by Cassandra Wilson in the 1990s: an extension and a perfection of that effort to push jazz boundaries into alternate areas in the same way that Western Swing did in its heyday.
Krebs does not waste her time with the "standard" standards. He chooses lesser-worn paths to great effect. "Let's Call a Heart a Heart" and "Looking Back" are both characterized by reedist Rob Lockart's use of bass clarinet in place of the double bass. So perfectly does Lockart's various reeds meld with the violin and viola of Paul Cartwright, that the combination, in this acoustic setting, damn near defines a new genre of performance. "Falling Grace" and the Shaker title tune sport almost perfect arrangements, arrangements that capture in 20/20 the true American Pastoral. I do not anticipate hearing a more satisfying or original recording the rest of this year.
Let's Call A Heart; Looking Back; So Many Stars; Once Upon A Summertime; Falling Grace; Throw It Away; For All We Know; Simple Gifts.
Susan Krebs: vocals; Rich Eames: piano; Rob Lockart: woodwinds; Scott Breadman: percussion; Paul Cartwright: violin, viola.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.