Amongst a community teaming with startlingly gifted young singers, Sara Gazarek stands out as a particularly extravagant artist. Her first two albums introduced her singular sound and vision, steeped in the tradition of jazz but deeply informed by contemporary songwriters and performers. With Blossom & Bee, her highly anticipated debut release on the respected indie label Palmetto, Gazarek turns over an exciting, glistening new leaf.
With five years between her acclaimed 2007 album “Return to You” (Native Language) and “Blossom & Bee,” it’s no surprise that Gazarek has grown considerably in the meantime. What’s fascinating is the way that she’s tapped into sources of inspiration consonant with her own less-is-more sensibility. Working closely with the brilliant pianist/organist Larry Goldings, who produced the album, Gazarek and her band have crafted a program of emotionally expansive standards, inspired contemporary fare, and uncommonly memorable originals, all delivered with her insouciant sense of artistry.
As the title track might suggest, an undeniable thread running through “Blossom & Bee” is the irrepressibly buoyant spirit of jazz pianist, singer and songwriter Blossom Dearie. “When I looked at the 4 or 5 songs from our book that absolutely had to be on this record, I was surprised to realize they had all been inadvertently added to our repertoire over the years through our love for her.” From the upbeat and humorous “Everything I’ve Got,” their refreshing, glockenspiel laden take on “I’m Old Fashioned” and the meter-shifting “Tea For Two,” Gazarek acknowledges the direct correlation between these songs and Dearie’s.
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“She may well turn out to be the next important jazz singer”
Don Heckman – LA Times
Return To You is one of the best albums to appear in 2007.
Joe Montague - jazzreview.com
“…A beautiful phrased and warmly expressive performance of jazz and pop standards”
Gene Stout – Seattle Times
She is such an original and completely unpretentious singer, bringing a fresh vision to the jazz standards and the contemporary songs she chooses to sing.
Shannon West – SmoothViews
“Return to You is a complete gift that should endear Gazarek's fans even closer to her easygoing, youthful sound and charisma.”
Paula Edelstein –All Music Guide
“Gazarek seduces, conjures and cajoles elements from her songs with the aplomb of pro's long past”
Larry Sakin – blogcritics.com
-Parade Picks, Parade Magazine
“On Return to You, Gazarek, a mere 25-year-old lies on the threshold of becoming a jazz great
Willing to teach
University Of Southern California, Adjunct Professor, Jazz Studies