Canadian Jazz singer from Montreal and multiple Juno-Award nominee Susie Arioli, presents another spectacular rhythm-based recording on Spring, a spectacular blues and soul-influenced vocal project combining four fresh originals with a selection of vibrant standards for a very spicy and rousing good time. Under the direction of multi-instrumentalist/arranger and multiple Juno-Award winner Don Thompson, Arioli fronts a nine-piece ensemble that, on various occasions, sounds like a big band machine. With this superb support, the songstress delivers warm ballads, moving blues and soul-infused rhythms along with an array of swinging orchestrations.
The rousing original "Loverboy" opens the date in swinging style as the vocalist leads the music with the able assistance of a five-piece horn section consisting of tenor saxophonist Phil Dwyer, altoist Andy Ballantyne, baritone saxophonist Shirantha Beddage, trombonist Kelsley Grant and featured trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, who provides a hot solo here with nice guitar work in the background by Reg Schwager. The Turk/Ahlert jazz standard "Mean to Me" follows with Arioli voicing the lyrics against the backdrop of drummer Terry Clarke's splashing cymbal accents accompanying Thompson's piano lines and vibraphone solo work marking this tune, one of the best of the disc. Incidentally, Thompson and Clarke have a long history of collaborating together on musical projects.
The soulful and bluesy elements of the album come into play on such tracks as "Dearest Darling," "Can't Say No," "Evenin' "and on Earl King's "Those Lonely, Lonely Nights." The original title track is a beautiful soft number which demonstrates the singer's talents as a writer. The Johnny Mercer/Trummy Young standard "Travelin' Light," allows Arioli an opportunity to showcase her vocal treatment of ballads with her original "Someone Else" displaying the light sounds of Brasil on a gorgeous bossa nova featuring Thompson on a sweet vibe solo.
The singer turns on the charm and gets back into the swing on such lively pieces as "I'm the Caring Kind," "Me, Myself and I" and the sizzling finale "After You're Gone," completing another attention-deserving recording certain to make Susie Arioli's Spring, a jazz vocals album for all seasons that lovers of the style and jazz audiences in general, are bound to enjoy and spin often.
Loverboy; Mean to Me; Dearest Darling; Can't Say No; Evenin'; Those Lonely, Lonely Nights; I'm The Caring Kind; Me, Myself and I; Spring; Someone Else; Traveli' Light; After You're Gone.
Susie Arioli: vocals; Don Thompson: piano, vibraphone; Terry Clarke: drums; Neil Swainson: bass; Reg Schwager: guitar; Phil Dwyer: tenor saxophone; Kevin Turcotte: trumpet; Andy Ballantyne: alto saxophone; Shirantha Beddage: baritone saxophone; Kelsley Grant: trombone.