Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

212

Sara Gazarek: Yours

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
It's commonplace for young vocalists to do an album of standards when debuting on the jazz scene. What sets them apart is how they present these songs, which have been done many times over by both veterans and newcomers. Some who have succeeded are Jane Monheit, Michael Bublé, and Renee Olstead. Sara Gazarek, 23, has joined their ranks. Early indications are she will succeed—provided she doesn't just do covers, but present them in a way that sets her apart from the others.

Gazarek has performed with Oleta Adams, Karrin Allyson, and Diane Schuur as the "yet undiscovered talent at the Concord Jazz Festival. Other artists she's played with or studied under include Barry Manilow and Tierney Sutton.

Yours is a mix of jazz standards, pop/rock covers, and original songs. Gazarek is backed by pianist Joshua Nelson, bassist Erik Kertes, and drummer Matt Slocum. Nelson wrote the title song and "Amazing, two charming pieces that may help Gazarak distinguish herself. She does justice to the standards, of course, but how many versions of "My Shining Hour and "Cheek to Cheek can jazz listeners stand before saying "Enough! ? Both are nicely done, of course. In fact, Nelson's piano solo and Gazarek's scatting at the end turn "Cheek to Cheek from just another cover to something delightful. While this rendering doesn't strengthen the album, it doesn't hurt it either.

The ensemble gets a bit more creative with the medley "Blackbird/Bye Bye Blackbird, seamlessly weaving the Beatles' hit with the Mort Dixon-Ray Henderson composition. The first portion opens with Kertes' bowed bass and Gazarek's wordless vocal, backed by Nelson. The title song, penned by Nelson, is a charming ballad. Kertes gets a moment to shine with a brief bass solo, but the singer's voice is what carries this tune. Gazarek is a light alto, cut from the same fabric as such vocalists as Corinne Drewery of Swing Out Sister and Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac.

This characteristic comes through on Nelson's "Amazing, demonstrating that this quartet's original work will help it break from the pack. "You Got By, co-written by Gazerek and Kertes, is another charmer. Gazarek demonstrates her range, smoothly reaching a crescendo while crisply striking a couple of high notes during one of the more dramatic moments. Then, after Nelson's brief solo, she comes back down to normal level with a sassy, Janis Siegel-esque interlude before closing the song with the main melody.

While the covers of the jazz standards aren't strong enough to attract the listener who might otherwise miss this album, they are good enough to support the other material. The original songs, and Gazarek's voice, are what make this recording special.


Track Listing: My Shining Hour; Yours; Amazing; Ev

Personnel: Sara Gazarek: vocals; Josh Nelson: piano; Erik Kertes: acoustic bass; Matt Slocum: drums.

Title: Yours | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Native Language


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas! CD/LP/Track Review A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 25, 2017
Read Afloat CD/LP/Track Review Afloat
by Gareth Thompson
Published: November 25, 2017
Read Bitter Almonds CD/LP/Track Review Bitter Almonds
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 25, 2017
Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read "Adam's Apple" CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Umbrella Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "Any Other Way" CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Music Box Music" CD/LP/Track Review Music Box Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "The Last Sense To Leave Us – A Tribute To Pauline Oliveros" CD/LP/Track Review The Last Sense To Leave Us – A Tribute To Pauline...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 10, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor