New Sounds From The Jazz Age
Label: Lizzie Thomas
Track list: 1: Fascinating Rhythm 2: Our Love is Here To Stay 3: I Didn't Know About You 4: You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To 5: In the Still Of The Night 6: One Note Samba 7: Cheek To Cheek 8: Close Your Eyes 9: The Very Thought Of You
Additional Personnel / Information
Lizzie Thomas vocals John Colianni piano Jay Leonhart bass (2,3,4,6) Boots Maleson bass (1,5,7,8,9) Russell Malone guitar (2,3,4) appears courtesy of HighNote Matt Chertkoff guitar (1,5,6,7,8,9) Omar Daniels tenor sax, flute Felix Peikli clarinet (1,8) Bernard Linnette drums Doug Hindrichs percussion
Ms. Thomas celebrates 2020 with the release of her ambitious fourth album, New Sounds from the Jazz Age. It is an innovative interpretation of nine classic standards from the American Songbook. Ms. Thomas lends her formidable musicianship to tackling the demanding tempos in the music - from charts performed at breakneck speeds such as George Gershwin's “Fascinating Rhythm,” to the slow burning indigo blue “Close your Eyes,” and the ever changing keys and moods found in “You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To” and “Cheek To Cheek.” The whole album swings with innovative arrangements and heartfelt lyricism. On New Sounds from the Jazz Age Ms. Thomas does a marvelous job of bringing out new adventurous facets of the songs we know and love. The album opens with “Fascinating Rhythm” one of two songs on which Ms. Thomas is joined by the incomparable clarinetist Felix Peikli. Here the vocalist introduces the song with unexpected rhythm followed by smoky vocals that bring tingles to the spine. She then moves so quickly into the lyrics, your left wondering ”What just happened?” The album’s joyousness continues with an intoxicating version of “Our Love is Here to Stay” which begins with a brief intimate solo played by Russell Malone. The arrangement is gorgeously fluid, with the sweet and effortless voice of Ms. Thomas leading the rest of the ensemble into a beguiling version of the song. “I Didn't Know About You” a riveting, lesser known Ellington song, also features the magical work of Russell Malone and introduces Omar Daniels on tenor sax. Ms. Thomas shows her musical prowess by making the music bridge the space between the singer and the listener. “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To” opens with a Rock-N-Roll riff on Sinatra’s “To Go Traveling” as Ms Thomas brings the heart of the Porter tune seductively into the palm of your hand with a sultry voice. “In the Still Of The Night” begins with a Latin groove before the rhythmic line alternates with a gently swinging tempo. Ms. Thomas' voice pierces the song's darkness in all its pristine beauty. Her instrument is gorgeous; lustrous and fierce as she digs into the meaning of each word in the lyric. Antonio Carlos Jobim's classic chart “One Note Samba” is, perhaps the biggest surprise, while maintaining the shuffling samba beat, Ms. Thomas swings her way through it with magical rhythmic control as she re-invents Jobim's easy lyric turning it into something brilliant and vivid. On many of the songs Ms. Thomas lets her unique sense of drama shine. “Cheek To Cheek” is one such song. By bridging mid-tempo choruses with a kind of operatic aria, she unfolds a sensitive yet stirring setting of the lyric by enunciating it in equal measures of angelic purity and commanding vocal presence. “Close Your Eyes” brings back Felix Peikli and Ms. Thomas responds to the clarinet, by weaving her melodious voice with it’s distinctive sound. The album closes with a heartfelt version of “The Very Thought Of You” cast in the sensuality of an Afro- Caribbean rhythm, Ms. Thomas brings a spontaneity to the portrayal of the character in the song infusing it with an unmatched freshness. The album New Sounds from the Jazz Age is significant because it recognizes and builds on the wonderful reality of the traditional songs. What we hear is a uniquely beautiful and provocative new sound. Secondly, having selected this repertoire herself, she turned things over to pianist and musical collaborator John Colianni to shape the arrangements and provide musical direction in the studio. Mr. Colianni’s arrangements were written in celebration of Ms. Thomas’ ability to vocalise on racing tempos, effortlessly pivot between styles and key changes and dig deep into the rich complexities of Ellington, Porter, and Gershwin. Ms Thomas and Mr. Colianni are joined on this date by renowned bassist Jay Leonhart, who also shares the bass chair with Boots Maleson. Guitar duties are shared by Russell Malone and Matt Chertkoff. Bernard Linette occupies the drum chair, while percussion colourist Doug Hendrichs bolsters the rhythm section. Note worthy is a miracle of sound engineering brought off by one of NYC's best - Peter Karl, who created an intimate and authentic ambience of an early jazz club by placing all of the musicians within touching distance of one another in a single room to create the dynamic sound of a "live" recording. All of this makes New Sounds from the Jazz Age an album that music lovers and jazz aficionados will listen to over and over again.
Album uploaded by Lizzie Thomas