Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Kendra W/ Larry Willis Shank|
Genres: Jazz, Pop
The acclaimed debut of an intimate, straight-to-the-heart jazz ballad singer destined for greatness. Co-produced by Shirley Horn and Larry Willis, Kendra Shank's debut has been critically acclaimed as one of the best recor... more »
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The acclaimed debut of an intimate, straight-to-the-heart jazz ballad singer destined for greatness. Co-produced by Shirley Horn and Larry Willis, Kendra Shank's debut has been critically acclaimed as one of the best recorded female jazz vocal albums ever. "Kendra Shank embodies all that a true jazz singer once was and is now." -- JazzTimes
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So subtle and beautiful it should not be missed
groucho | Chapel Hill, NC, USA | 01/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why do I gravitate towards impossibly slow music? Because Kendra Shank makes the experience lovelier. This debut album found Shank in a less cloudy voice (she was a bit like Betty Carter in her 2000 release) and her voice just hits you right away. There is a slight Janis Siegel-clarity to her phrasing, and she prefers the slow-burning songs that you can find in any Shirley Horn recording (small wonder that Shirley Horn endorsed this album wholeheartedly). Shank's voice is not like most contemporary female jazz singers carrying the neo-traditional torch, but she is a striking contrast to Diana Krall's smokiness, Cassandra Wilson's fogginess, Stacey Kent's reediness or Norah Jones's soporific honeyed tones. Shank has this voice that can be heard when everything is quiet around the house and her singing voice can be likened to a musical conversation -- as if she is speaking about laundry in that deliberate and caramel-minus-the-fluff voice. Best of all, she draws upon from the rarely-heard repertoire like the title track to Jobim's "Meditation". She may be too slow for others (but so is Norah Jones), but her deliberate slowness will not make you contemplate suicide the way Helen Merrill's later outputs can. Shank's albums are released in indie labels but once you get to see an album of hers, snatch up one. It will not make you forget others but it will make you love someone else."
groucho | 07/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was searching Amazon's Mapleshade catalog when I saw this CD ranked with two stars and clicked to find the review below. Talk about hyper-critical. I wonder if there is any music that stands up to such clinical analyis. I have owned this CD for a year and listen to it frequently. Comprised mostly of ballads, the pace is a little slow, but Ms. Shank's voice has a lovely tone and the backing trio of Larry Willis (piano), Steve Novosel (bass) and Steve Williams (drums) perform to their usual high standard. The recording, like nearly all Mapleshade productions is truly exceptional. I find myself tapping my toe on Paris Bossa, one of the few up-tempo numbers and feel Ms. Shank conveys emotion quite well on Almost Blue. My criteria: Does the music move me? Yes. Does it sound good? Yes, indeed. Highly recommended."
Good Music, Great Recording
jazz fan | 01/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I too was moved to write a review of this CD by the review below. I too initially found Mapleshade because of its painstaking and minimalist approach to recording and mastering. I have to say that I find the vocals on this CD along with those on "Sunny" by Sunny Sumter, aslo on Mapleshade, to be as good or better than any recorded vocals I have come across. The sense of immidiacy is amazing. I also enoy the music a great deal. It is by and large an intimate feeling recording. I find Kenrda Shank's voice to convey a nice sense of emotion and feeling and the song choices generally showcase her style well. I would whole heartedly recommend this disc for any fan of small club sounds vocal jazz and for any audiophile looking for an impressive recording with wonderful small jazz ensemble and vocal sound. For reference my system: Musical Fidelity A3cr separates and A3 CD, JM Lab Micro Utopia speakers, all Audio Magic cabling."