Author Archive for

09
Mar
08

Torch’s ‘Charmed’ is ‘stunningly accomplished’

 

By Michael Sutton

Torch/Charmed

You can pitch this to fans of Norah Jones but any similarities between the two are merely on the surface level. Torch is not a solo artist although the sultry vocals of Seela Misra will probably be the focus of attention. Of course, with a voice like this – calming, romantic, sometimes flirty – how can she not be? Where the two quickly part is that Misra actually has a band, which gives these songs more heft and power.

Featuring Chris Vestre (guitar), Chris Maresh and Mike Porter (bass), Jon Greene (drums), Evan Jacobs (piano), David Chenu (sax), and Ephraim Owens (trumpet), Torch is a well-defined and versatile unit. The group is perfectly in synch with Misra’s every vocal move, whether it calls for a loving tone (“Alone Together”) or something with more attitude (“My Baby Just Cares for Me”). “The Colder Months” rides on a laid-back lounge groove with exquisite guitar work and throbbing bass lines. “Is It Enough” quickens the tempo with lively piano and propulsive drums. Mixing original material with some extraordinary covers (their version of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” erupts with scorching sax), Charmed offers a stunningly accomplished portrait of an artist worth seeking out.

http://www.sweethoneytree.com

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05
Mar
08

Kinderjazz push boundaries of genre with ‘unbreakable joy’

By Al Coleman, Jr.

Kinderjazz/The One for Me

There should be no boundaries to jazz.

It needs to adapt and continue to grow, not forgetting its roots but not bound by them, either. The Australia-based Kinderjazz symbolize the past and future of the genre, respectful of their swing ancestry but unafraid to play in the sandbox. Before you reject Jazz Kings for praising “children’s music,” take note that Kinderjazz are not delivering you canned music or covers; these are new songs with the flavors of old, performed with unbreakable joy and impressive technical skill. There should be a sticker on the CD which flatly states, “Contains no cheese.”

Like to dance? So do Kinderjazz. “Orange Pear Samba” and “That’s Fine” burst with boisterous Latin beats and jubilant saxophones and trumpets. The production is so clear and finely tuned that Kinderjazz sounds like they are partying in your bedroom, which is something all of you will be wishing for once the record has done spinning. Vocalist Debra Dicembre is really fetching, a bundle of unrestrained happiness on “Before I Go Inside” but seductively sad on “Playtime Blues.”

Listen:

http://www.kinderjazz.com




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