Monday, December 13, 2010

Vocals Past and Present - Bob Stewart

Lizz Wright spent her previous three releases defying categorization-contemporary jazz stylist? Neo-soul/neo-folk/Americana artist? None or all of the above? So it's no surprise that "Fellowship" would introduce yet another wrinkle into the mix: gospel. As the daughter of a Georgia pastor, Wright listened to and sang nothing but religious fare before fate and/or the Lord led her to Atlanta's jazz community in her college years. On this new release, Wright emphasizes a healthy stretch of the rousing gospel standards she grew up singing in the church, but borrows other selections from the decidedly secular catalogs of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Gladys Knight.

Meanwhile, "Second Chance" is the final unreleased recording featuring jazz vocal legend Irene Krall and the Alan Broadbent Trio, recorded live at the Times Restaurant in Studio City, California. Christopher Loudon of Jazz Times calls her voice, "as pure and exquisite as Lalique crystal," and Scott Yanow of the All Music Guide describes her as, "a superb ballad singer who always put both plenty of emotion and subtlety into her often haunting interpretations." This collection comes from the apex in her development, the summer of 1975, and shows her at work in top form.

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