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Nancy Erickson Lamont: Through the Passages

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Nancy Erickson Lamont: Through the Passages
On occasion with so many artists presenting recordings, a reviewer may innocently fall into the trap of bypassing a jewel by an unfamiliar singer. Such was the case here. The subsequent discovery was fortuitous. Seattle-based vocalist and composer, Nancy Erickson Lamont's Through the Passages is a thoroughly fascinating, absorbing 12-original-track session with the artist surrounded by an A-1 crew of the Pacific Northwest's best. It is undoubtedly a pearl of a find.

"Tick Tock" opens the date with piano and bass dancing before Lamont enters. The tune is a sing-spoke message statement that slyly uses the countdown metaphor with Lamont pointedly stating the melody conspiring with piano and bass. It is a dramatic, rhythmically intense track. The lilting triplet rhythms of "Miles Between" have Lamont presenting a chanson with a bright, lyric landscape where she demos her higher range and melismatic scat. Chris Symer's arco bass solo is a splendid touch. "Passages" is a refreshing upbeat track with colorful textures and lyrics. The impressionistic middle is a pastel-like frame with glorious background vocals (overdubbed by Lamont). Drummer Stefan Schatz and Shawn Schlogel engage in a friendly, but energetic duel. "Ghost" offers a darker, stalking head before Lamont weaves a Poe-like tale of haunted love. Lamont's voice here is almost theatrical. Symer's crying bass is a perfect touch. It is a killer track.

Lamont has a truly engaging vocal instrument, with superb pitch, phrasing and diction. She brilliantly leverages all those talents across the variety of these compositions. Her composed and collaborated originals with Shawn Schlogel and Darin Clendenin are poetic and informative. and paint vivid mind pics. They are so poignant that they could stand alone without the marvelous music offered around them. The arrangements and overall production qualities are fabulous. Kudos to producer, Johnaye Kendrick.

"Leo" is an upbeat pulsing portrait over a solid rhythm bed, and it is another theatrical offering. Bassist Michael Glynn and pianist Josh Nelson add solos to this fine track. Lamont praises throughout before an open-ended finale. "Rainy Season Love Affair" is a tasty bossa nova with a Seattle hook and a neat bass clarinet intro. Lamont lithely weaves lines on the melody: an elegant track. After a perky Lamont unison with piano and bass, "G' N' K" takes off into a cooking' extended blues where Brent Jensen's alto and Jerome Smith's bone send up solos. This track is a stone descendant of Annie Ross's "Twisted." "Did It Did or Did It Didn't" has Lamont swinging hard over "I Got Rhythm" changes. It is another cooker with some sassy scat from Lamont. Guest Sean Jones pops in to give fine witness—no uncertainty here. "The Lighthouse" is a textural statement, slower, deep and dreary, with Lamont a picture painter. Shawn Schlogel's piano solo is a perfect fit. It is one of many terrific arrangements for the session. A heartbeat bass under Lamont's flavoring launches the traditional-flavored "Home." This composition has a Carole King vibe and Lamont delivers it superbly. The slower "Auf Weidersehen, Goodnight" turns lights out with a Lamont-blown kiss. It is a terrific lyrical statement and a fine closer.

The collective personnel here are all premier participants with special acknowledgment to pianists Nelson and Schlogel. The various rhythm section sections also shine throughout.

Through the Passages is a marvelous find. It is thoughtful, extremely tasteful, and a standout effort from a talent certainly worthy of wider recognition.

Track Listing

Tick Tock, Miles Between, Passages, Ghost, Leo Rainy Season Love Affair, G' N' K, Did IT Did Or Did It Didn't, The Lighthouse, Haiku New Love, Home, Auf Weidersehen, Goodnight.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Through the Passages | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Self-Produced


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