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Eden Atwood is a stylish young woman, an erstwhile model and television actress, a dark-haired, light-eyed beauty blessed with sultry good looks that are displayed in an array of professional model poses on the CD booklet; and if you're of a cynical frame of mind that old "style-over-substance" debate might come to mind when you pick up her new CD, Waves: The Bossa Novs Session" on Groove Note. Put the pictures down and listen, though, and substance wins out, big time.
Atwood is a gifted singer with a sublime, delicate delivery, that is sometimes breathy, always nicely nuanced, always under complete control; a singer with an obvious passion for her craft. As the disc's title suggests, Bossa Nova is in the forefront herethree Jobim tunes, including the classic "Girl From Ipanema"; a lovley,lilting version of the McCartney/Lennon tune, "Fool on the Hill," and a sad and sultry take Berlin's "How Deep is the Ocean" that will make you cry or fall in love with Atwood, maybe both.
And it was a small stroke of genious to pair Eden with pianist/arranger Bill Cunliffe. Atwood's is a sweet, sometimes coy-sounding voice that some producers feel compelled to surround with washes of strings or (more's the horror) electronical walls of noise. Cunliffe goes mostly with the spare approach that showcases Atwood's talents perfectly.
Track Listing: He's a Carioca, O Pato, Meditation, Girl From Ipanema, Once Upon a Summer-time, Don't You Know I Care, Waves (Caminos Cruzados), Fool on the Hill, How Deep is the Ocean, Brazil, It's a Quiet Thing
Personnel: Eden Atwood, vocals; Bill Cunliffe, piano and arrangements; Darek Oles, bass; Joe LaBarbera, drums; Anthony Wilson, guitar; Pete Christlieb, tenor sax and flute; Scott Breadman, percussion
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.