All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

134

Stephanie Nakasian: Thrush Hour

Suzanne Lorge By

Sign in to view read count
Stephanie Nakasian is a great gift to jazz buffs—and especially to those who love singers. Not just for her exuberant performances but for her ability to articulate in layman's terms what it is to be a jazz singer. Her latest recording on V.S.O.P. Records, Thrush Hour, combines masterful singing, top-notch musicianship, and an educator's expertise to deliver a comprehensive "study of the great ladies of jazz, as the subtitle reads.

On this release Nakasian approaches a generous number of vocal jazz classics in the style of the original recording artist, from Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters to Abbey Lincoln and Ella Fitzgerald. Along with each track is an informative biographical sketch of the original artist that places the music in its era and details its significance in jazz history. Few singers can tell you as much about where their sound comes from.

Without resorting to imitation Nakasian synthesizes each of these singers' unique vocal abilities with her own estimable talent, and the result is both educational and entertaining. Nakasian shifts from one color and feel to the next quite deftly, moving from Connee Boswell's throaty version of "Lullaby of the Leaves , say, to Helen Ward's light and swinging up-tempo "Goody Goody, to Billie Holiday's high, subtly back-phrased "All of Me, to Anita O'Day's fast-paced, scatting bop in "What Is This Thing Called Love. These tunes are just a small sample of the stylistic leaps Nakasian displays on this 20-track CD. (You will be left to figure out how Nakasian can sound so convincing on a rendering of a Sarah Vaughn tune and then on one by Blossom Dearie, but there it is.)

The CD, recorded in two days (that's ten tunes a day), shows off the considerable chops of Nakasian's rhythm section: her husband Hod O'Brien on piano, Steve Gillmore on bass, Bill Goodwin on drums, and Howie Collins on rhythm guitar; and of her horn players, Randy Sandke (trumpet), Tod Hamilton (tenor sax), and John Jensen (trombone). The team borrows the arrangements from the original recordings, one assumes from reading the liner notes, but the presentation is fresh.


Track Listing: A Good Man Is Hard To Find; Guess Who

Personnel: Stephanie Nakasian: vocals; Hod O

Title: Thrush Hour | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: V.S.O.P. Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

New York Beat
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
I Love You

I Love You

Spice of Life
2007

buy
Thrush Hour

Thrush Hour

V.S.O.P. Records
2007

buy
 

Invitation to an...

Chase Music Group
2001

buy

Related Articles

Read Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden
by Chris May
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Remember Love CD/LP/Track Review
Remember Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Open Heart CD/LP/Track Review
Open Heart
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Steve Reich: Drumming CD/LP/Track Review
Steve Reich: Drumming
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2018
Read iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba CD/LP/Track Review
iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Globe Unity - 50 Years CD/LP/Track Review
Globe Unity - 50 Years
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2018
Read "Day by Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day by Day
by Jim Olin
Published: September 4, 2018
Read "Untitled Album" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled Album
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 3, 2018
Read "Returnings" CD/LP/Track Review Returnings
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 13, 2018
Read "The Height of the Reeds" CD/LP/Track Review The Height of the Reeds
by John Eyles
Published: September 7, 2018
Read "Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet
by Gareth Thompson
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "Vintage Christmas Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Vintage Christmas Trio
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 3, 2017