Anna Kolchina's debut Wild is the Wind is a masterclass in ensemble performance. Backed by pianist John di Martino, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Willie Jones, Kolchina is more an equal quartet member than a singer backed by a trio. This is experienced immediately on the title piece, where Kolchina's delicately-played voice peeks out from behind Washington's gentle bass playing as it directs the remainder of the arrangement. It is a stunningly organic musical effect that increases the intimacy of the performance greatly. This approach characterizes the remaining tunes, all "standards" to one degree or another. The engineering captures the music three-dimensionally, where the listener can almost walk among the musicians as they perform.
Another element to note about this recording is its programing. The album is made up of 14 love songs... all kinds of love songs. On one hand there is the tentative cynicism introducing "You Do Something To Me," and maturing in "So In Love," while a completely different love aspect is studied in the loss-lessening "Don't Look Back," "It Never Was You," and "You Can Have Him." In all the different settings, Kolchina uses her refined, yet street-smart voice to finely hone the song she is presenting. The totality of approach on Wild is the Wind makes it an event in itself. While Kolchina's voice is less than perfect, it is perfect in that her vocals betray a knowing and aware character not afraid to show its wounds in its vulnerability, while telegraphing a warning to the listener that it has been all places and knows all things.
Wild Is The Wind #1; So In Love #2; You Do Something To Me #3; Don't Worry 'bout
Me #4; You Won't Forget Me #5; Don't Look Back #6; Exactly Like you #7; I Never
Told You #8; With A Song In My Heart #9; It Never Was You #10; A Fine Romance
#11; You Can Have Him #12; Day By Day #13; A Sinner Kissed An Angel #14.
Anna Kolchina #1: Vocals; John Di Martino #2: Piano; Peter Washington #3: Bass;
Willie Jones #4: Drums.