Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
You Taught My Heart to Sing
Genres: Jazz, Broadway & Vocalists
Black on White
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 08/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'll never forget the night when, after a torrid and cookin' set, Sonny Stitt embraced the only white musician and announced to the crowd, "He's only white on the outside." I'd never heard of Kirsten Gustafson, but the musicians and the tunes looked familiar, and the price was right. So is Kirsten. In fact, she's up there with today's most "soulful" jazz singers, sounding "black" to my ears (think Ruth Brown, Etta Jones and Etta James--not Whitney or Leontyne).
Making it as a jazz singer requires much more than talent--beauty, image, cleverness, shameless self-promotion, the ability to seduce not just an audience but a powerful agent and loyal arranger and rhythm section, boundless energy and determination, incredible resilience, the breaks. If Kirsten's meager recorded output is due to a lack in one of those areas, it's certainly not talent. She covers the whole range vocally--tenor to soprano, has a consistent sound in all registers, and brings to all of her tones a "mature" earthiness, or "body," that is uncommonly natural and appealing.
And she feels the music. McCoy Tyner's "You Taught My Heart to Sing," as compelling a melody as it is, is also treacherous and far more challenging than most vocalists who are attracted to the song realize. Kirsten's is the most successful interpretation I've heard. She also scats convincingly on "I Don't Know Why I Love You Like I Do" (of all tunes!); and she does a hip vocalese chorus on "Too Marvelous for Words."
The arrangements are by the late Frank Mantooth, famed arranger and educator, and a skilled pianist on the session. The rest of the cast is also first rate, beginning with saxophonist Greg Fishman, who has few if any equals in the Midwest.
I have a hunch this one will get a lot of playing time from me."