Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
"Wish" grabs your lapels from jump street with a daring interpretation generated by pianist Frank Kimbrough's chord selection and lifted to ecstasy by Shank's audacious vocal effects. Her influences are a rainbow ? among t... more »
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"Wish" grabs your lapels from jump street with a daring interpretation generated by pianist Frank Kimbrough's chord selection and lifted to ecstasy by Shank's audacious vocal effects. Her influences are a rainbow ? among them, Joni Mitchell, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday and Abbey Lincoln, two of whose compositions are included here!
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Mary Whipple | New England | 09/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not very often speechless, but this CD rendered me so. I no sooner finished listening to a track than I had to play it again, and sometimes yet again, before moving on. Truly original with their jazz interpretations, Kendra Shank and her ensemble make even "standards," like "That Lonesome Road" and "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" sound like completely new songs. They break the "rules," play with the tempo, syncopate the beat, and change keys from major to minor and back, sometimes within a single phrase. Yet there are no "star turns" here. The group is a group--the piano of Frank Kimbrough, saxes of Hans Teuber, bass of Jeff Johnson, and drums of Victor Lewis combine with the powerful alto of Shank without overpowering each other or her. Always, the song comes first--and it is fresh and new in their hands.
The folk song "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair," is an absolute wow, a jazz interpretation with a unique scat that calls to mind African and Caribbean dialects, animal cries, whispers, tongue clicks, and even hiccups. "You and the Night and the Music" gets the high speed treatment, the bass being Shank's only accompaniment at the beginning, with the drums and sax entering and adding to the tempo. The James Taylor song "That Lonesome Road" begins as a slow, lyrical ballad with a sweet, soft piano, as Shank takes the song in new directions and gives fresh meaning to the lyrics, creating a pensive mood.
Jule Style would not believe what this group does with his melody in "You Say You Care." Shank and her crew take it, adapt it, turn it inside out, and bring every listener along for the ride. Title song "Wish," introduced by Kimbrough on vibes, was written by Shank, and sounds magical at the beginning, as she sings "I want a man," then describes what she wants--"a man with soul on his face...who knows about time and space...with truth in his veins...with dance in his heart...a man whose life is art." As the song develops, it becomes more assertive, louder, and more syncopated, until both she and the sax are wailing.
This is a CD that must be heard to be believed! It defies normal description. With a majority of songs in a minor key, the CD creates moods, plays with them and sometimes changes them. The resulting CD is haunting, exciting, breath-taking, and, best of all, a totally unified creation. If you love jazz, do not miss this one! (My undying gratitude to Amazon jazz reviewer Rick Cornell for introducing me to this amazing performer!) n Mary Whipple
Unrequited wish, Years Later
Rick Cornell | Reno, Nv USA | 02/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"is that a label like Verve, Impulse! or Blue Note would pick up Kendra Shank and her band and just let them rip. No crossover appeal, so t'ain't gonna happen, I know; but this is as good a vocal jazz album as almost anything out there. The highlight is the opener, the folk song "Black (Is the Color of My True Love's Hair"), as Ms. Shank, a former folk singer, experiments with vocal sounds much like Hendrix used to experiment with sounds from his guitar. Other highlights: A swinging cover of Jule Styne's obscure "You Say You Care"; and a reading of "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise", which captures the heartfelt emotion of the Romberg classic without the Rombergian schmaltz. Kendra Shank is a greatly underappreciated artist; come on, Blue Note, pick her up, use her as a "loss leader" if you must, already!"