KRISTEN LEE SERGEANT – INSIDE/OUT
With Inside/Out, Kristen Lee Sergeant emerges onto the crowded scene of jazz vocalists with a fresh, distinctive voice full of soul, authenticity and the gift of great storytelling. The title reflects the uality of each song’s lyrics and placement, creating a cycle of emotions ranging from rapture to introspection to reality, bringing what is inside, out. Fun and fearlessness pervade this debut release as Kristen also turns 80s pop classics into adventurous jazz romps with the promise of even more exciting things to come. The restless, creative spirit that inspires her is evident on this recording and deeply impacts the music and her listeners. Radio host, Jay Edwards of WCLK-FM’s “Jazz Tones,” calls her “an effervescent spirit whose superb vocals and phrasing inject the lyrics with new life.” Illustrating how influences from early on-stage work palpably serve this recording. Inspired by Carmen McRae, Shirley Horn and Rosemary Clooney, Sergeant finds the swing and intimacy of each tine in every context. This release is a portrait of an artist coalescing all her influences, and those of her musicians, to a nuanced reinvention of standards and pop classics under the jazz canopy of swing and contemporary music.
FELIX CAVALIERE – CASTLES IN THE AIR
Felix Cavaliere may be best known to some for his work in the Rascals – but years later, he stepped out as a solo act on his own – with a sound that nicely drew from all of his early work on Atlantic Records! The sound here is kind of a late 70s update of the blue-eyed mode that Felix had with his earlier group – given a bit more of an AOR spin in the production, through use of a top-shelf array of jazz fusion players in the backings. Despite the pianos on the cover, Cavaliere mostly plays Fender Rhodes and organ next to his vocals – on titles that include "Only A Lonely Heart Sees", "All Or Nothing", "People Got To Be Free", "Outside Your Window", "Love Is The First Day Of Spring", "You Turned Me Around", and "Good To Have Love Back". (Part of the great AOR City series from Japan!) ~ Dusty Groove
LAURIN TALESE – GORGEOUS CHAOS
A jazz vocalist with a great blend of classic roots and contemporary soul – working here in a mix of her own original tunes and some well-chosen standards! Laurin's sense of lyric is very personal – spun out with a richness that's immediately apparent, and underscored by some warm acoustic jazz currents – but with energy that's very electric in the way the instrumentation comes together! Some tunes have a gentle glow, others have a more contemporary crackle – but the instrumentation throughout is very classic – and includes some especially nice tones and colors from the horns. Robert Glasper guests on one track, singer Vivian Green is on another, and Christan McBride plays bass on a few more tracks. Titles include "This Love", "My Husband", "Trenchcoat", "Love Poems", "Same Mistakes", "Forgive & Forget", "Kissing A Fool", and "Tick Tock". ~ Dusty Groove