Weaver of Dreams marks Kansas City chanteuse Angela Hagenbach's national debut. Lucky listeners already familiar with her work will know that she's been working in jazz for ten years. Previous albums, including the remarkable Feel the Magic, and touring abroad has served as excellent dues-paying and her smoky voice and musicianship clearly deserve their debutante ball.
This album, a mix of ballads and latin swing, showcases her vocal skills, featured on tracks like "Street of Dreams" with deliciously dizzying scatting, "Now's the time," a tribute to Charlie Parker, where she zips through the lyrics like the way Bird blew his saxophone, and the breezy "Return to Paradise," with the infectious beat cooly shuffling behind her voice lilting and dipping and winding around the words. She does Latin equally well, having a particular knack for Brazilian flavoring. She burns up the airwaves with her ensemble Musa Nova on tracks like the Ellington-penned "Caravan" and "It Had Better Be Tonight."
Hagenbach's voice might remind one of Shirley Horn in its rich deep tone, but where Horn stylizes with pauses and working in conjunction with her piano, Hagenbach has a wider range and sings more aggressively, fitting well within the total orchestration. She improvises with great ease. She's listened to the albums of the legends and no doubt her own studies on the trombone and percussion have helped developed her scat talents. Weaver of Dreams comes well-recommended to fans of vocal jazz and Hagenbach is a new young musician whose career will be exciting to watch.
Track Listing: You Turned the Tables on Me, Simone, Autumn's Flame, You Do Something To Me, Return to Paradise, Altos de Chavon, Street of Dreams, Now's the Time, Sometimes I'm Happy, It Had Better Be Tonight, Angel Eyes, Caravan.
Personnel: Angela Habenbach, vocals; Danny Embrey, guitar; Joe Cartwright, piano; Bob Bowman, acoustic bass; Steve Rigazzi, electric bass; Greg Carroll, vibes; Gary Helm, percussion; Todd Stright, drums; Doug Aurwarter, drums & percussion
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.