SHIRLEY CRABBE, HOME

Sometimes jazz is about small moves and simple melodies. From this template springs the debut of Shirley Crabbe who sings jazz and pop standards with a natural effervescence and infectious brightness. Her voice has a natural clarity, one akin to Dianne Reeves, but with a softer and at times, tentative edge. On “Home” (MaiSong Music) she surrounds herself with loyal support that clearly adores her – pianists Jim West and Donald Vega, bassist John Burr, drummer Alvester Garnett and an equally talented horn section. Mentored by the inimitable Etta Jones, Crabbe is a latecomer to the scene but sounds no less seasoned by experience and musicality. The ultimate success of her debut stands on three numbers, Leonard Bernstein’s “Lucky To Be Me” and Oscar Brown’s “Strong Man,” where Crabbe’s lustrous voice hosts saxophonist Houston Person whose velvety solos lend the album its classic feel. Then there’s the exotic arrangement of Carole King’s “So Far Away” that Crabbe sings with soulful aplomb, investing the lyric with a mournful and deeply knowing emotionality. (9 tracks; 44:20 minutes)  www.shirleycrabbe.com  Take a listen here.

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JAZZ IN SPACE: SHIRLEY CRABBE, HOME

Monday, October 3, 2011

SHIRLEY CRABBE, HOME

Sometimes jazz is about small moves and simple melodies. From this template springs the debut of Shirley Crabbe who sings jazz and pop standards with a natural effervescence and infectious brightness. Her voice has a natural clarity, one akin to Dianne Reeves, but with a softer and at times, tentative edge. On “Home” (MaiSong Music) she surrounds herself with loyal support that clearly adores her – pianists Jim West and Donald Vega, bassist John Burr, drummer Alvester Garnett and an equally talented horn section. Mentored by the inimitable Etta Jones, Crabbe is a latecomer to the scene but sounds no less seasoned by experience and musicality. The ultimate success of her debut stands on three numbers, Leonard Bernstein’s “Lucky To Be Me” and Oscar Brown’s “Strong Man,” where Crabbe’s lustrous voice hosts saxophonist Houston Person whose velvety solos lend the album its classic feel. Then there’s the exotic arrangement of Carole King’s “So Far Away” that Crabbe sings with soulful aplomb, investing the lyric with a mournful and deeply knowing emotionality. (9 tracks; 44:20 minutes)  www.shirleycrabbe.com  Take a listen here.

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