134

Stephanie Nakasian: Thrush Hour

By

Sign in to view read count
Stephanie Nakasian: Thrush Hour 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

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass" CD/LP/Track Review Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Ma De Re Sha" CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Jaco Pastorius" CD/LP/Track Review Jaco Pastorius
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties" CD/LP/Track Review The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Beauty And the Beast" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty And the Beast
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 15, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.