ELIZABETH SHEPHERD, REWIND


With a clear and unusually pleasant voice, Montreal-based singer Elizabeth Shepherd gives frequently heard standards a jolt on “Rewind" (Linus Entertainment), her fourth recording, by updating songs like “Love For Sale,” “Poinciana” and Cannonball Adderley’s “Sack Of Woe” with a pop twist and overt modern groove. Sure, this is a common retro exercise among up-and-coming song stylists today, but Shepherd is gifted and clever enough to push these tunes into contemporary territory. On the leadoff tune, “Love For Sale,” Shepherd lets her core trio (bassist Ross Macintyre and drummer Colin Kinsmore) lay down a percussive groove augmented by her own accompaniment on a Wurlitzer organ that gives this Cole Porter chestnut an edge. She solos on keyboards throughout “Rewind” and very well, too, fusing clever beatbox electronics on Mel Torme’s “Born To The Blue” and an off-kilter rhythm on the Gershwin’s “Buzzard Song.” A popular tune like “Feeling Good” was never covered better than Nina Simone and here, Shepherd’s version sounds slightly forced despite a superior Rhodes solo and dapper bass line.


This is an engaging listening experience and it’s hard to pick the best moments, but I’ll go with two: “Midnight Sun” is a rush of elation with a up-tempo arrangement, a wonderful bass solo by Scott Kemp and a deft piano feature for Shepherd that dazzles. As a sort of grand finale, Ellington’s “Prelude To A Kiss” pairs Shepherd with fellow Canadian Denzal Sinclaire, a jazz singer with a smooth-as-silk voice (think Nat Cole or Johnny Hartman), and their too brief duet is a model of clarity and emotional directness. Her liner notes detail the decision to cut an album of familiar tunes due to being 8 months pregnant with her son and while that alone should qualify Shepherd for an endurance award, “Rewind” is smartly crafted with genuine staying power. (12 tracks; 51:02 minutes) www.elizabethshepherd.com

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

JAZZ IN SPACE: ELIZABETH SHEPHERD, REWIND

Thursday, November 15, 2012

ELIZABETH SHEPHERD, REWIND


With a clear and unusually pleasant voice, Montreal-based singer Elizabeth Shepherd gives frequently heard standards a jolt on “Rewind" (Linus Entertainment), her fourth recording, by updating songs like “Love For Sale,” “Poinciana” and Cannonball Adderley’s “Sack Of Woe” with a pop twist and overt modern groove. Sure, this is a common retro exercise among up-and-coming song stylists today, but Shepherd is gifted and clever enough to push these tunes into contemporary territory. On the leadoff tune, “Love For Sale,” Shepherd lets her core trio (bassist Ross Macintyre and drummer Colin Kinsmore) lay down a percussive groove augmented by her own accompaniment on a Wurlitzer organ that gives this Cole Porter chestnut an edge. She solos on keyboards throughout “Rewind” and very well, too, fusing clever beatbox electronics on Mel Torme’s “Born To The Blue” and an off-kilter rhythm on the Gershwin’s “Buzzard Song.” A popular tune like “Feeling Good” was never covered better than Nina Simone and here, Shepherd’s version sounds slightly forced despite a superior Rhodes solo and dapper bass line.


This is an engaging listening experience and it’s hard to pick the best moments, but I’ll go with two: “Midnight Sun” is a rush of elation with a up-tempo arrangement, a wonderful bass solo by Scott Kemp and a deft piano feature for Shepherd that dazzles. As a sort of grand finale, Ellington’s “Prelude To A Kiss” pairs Shepherd with fellow Canadian Denzal Sinclaire, a jazz singer with a smooth-as-silk voice (think Nat Cole or Johnny Hartman), and their too brief duet is a model of clarity and emotional directness. Her liner notes detail the decision to cut an album of familiar tunes due to being 8 months pregnant with her son and while that alone should qualify Shepherd for an endurance award, “Rewind” is smartly crafted with genuine staying power. (12 tracks; 51:02 minutes) www.elizabethshepherd.com

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home