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Kayle Brecher: This is Life

Jerome Wilson By

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Kayle Brecher is in the lineage of jazz singers like Sheila Jordan and Lisa Sokolov who use their voices as a serpentine instrument that slides through and around melodies as deftly as any jazz instrumentalist. On this CD she does her thing on a number of jazz standards, improvisations and original songs.

She performs in a variety of instrumental settings. On "Not Alone," "Moon Dreams," and " African Dream" she works with a simple accompaniment of guitar, bass and harp, chirping slippery hipster bop on the first track and crooning hypnotic, tropical lines on the others. "Wild Child," "The Gift" and Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay" have her scatting over a full band playing chattery jazz-funk powered by Ratzo Harris ' thick electric bass and Grant Calvin Weston's busy drumming.

"Life Is Just A Rhythm" is an improvisation with Brecher reciting poetic lyrics that keep pace with Weston's loping drumbeats while on "Sea Of Dolphins" she does a freewheeling duet with Harris' acoustic bass to the tune of Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance. "Torch to Hand" is a thoughtful and pretty ballad performed with just Brandee Younger and Harris as ethereal backup.

In all these settings the warmth and life in Kayle Brecher's voice stands out. Her instrument is mature and supple enough to both fly around with the airy, harp-featured tunes and earthy enough to dig in with the funky band numbers. She can also scat as well as any other jazz singer when needed. She comes off here as a very talented and fearless vocalist.

Track Listing: Not Alone; Moon Dreams; Wild Child; African Dream; Back to the Red Clay; Life is Just a Rhythm; Torch to Hand; Sea of Dolphins; The Gift.

Personnel: Kayle Brecher: vocals; Ratzo Harris: bass (all tracks except 6); Frank Butrey: guitar (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9); Grant Calvin Weston: drums (3, 5, 6, 9); Brandee A. Younger: harp (1, 7); Gloria Galante: harp (2, 4); Benjamin Sutin: violin (5, 9); David Dzubinski: piano (5, 9); Matt Cappy: trumpet (3).

Title: This is Life | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Penchant Four Records

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