Midnight In Austin Texas (special guest Robert Randolph)
Hit The Road Jack
Ain't We Got Fun
Nothing But The Blame
Nine days after her seventeenth birthday, singing sensation Renee Olstead and her stunning bluesy jazz voice take flight with her second major-label album, Skylark. Backed by esteemed producer/arranger David Foster (Josh G... more »roban, Michael Buble, Celine Dion) on strings, piano, horns and often keyboards, Olstead stamps her mark on standards and modern classics and premieres four originals she co-wrote, including one with Foster. Following her 2004 #1 Jazz self-titled album, Olstead soars on Skylark.« less
Nine days after her seventeenth birthday, singing sensation Renee Olstead and her stunning bluesy jazz voice take flight with her second major-label album, Skylark. Backed by esteemed producer/arranger David Foster (Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Celine Dion) on strings, piano, horns and often keyboards, Olstead stamps her mark on standards and modern classics and premieres four originals she co-wrote, including one with Foster. Following her 2004 #1 Jazz self-titled album, Olstead soars on Skylark.
Katcha S. (Jain) from FORT JONES, CA Reviewed on 3/14/2014...
Sadly disappointed with this collection of songs and how Renee Olstead chose to sign standards. I have enjoyed her singing, voice style and previous collection. Unfortunately the arrangements and timing are off on these. If she would like an example of how to better 'target' her singing I offer the a song used in the movie An Education CD - Your Heart Is as Black as Night and A Sunday Kind of Love. Renee's voice would be excellent for those too.
Pretty Young White Girls..........
Robert C. Hufford | Hopewell, VA USA | 02/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"....aren't supposed to sing this repertoire this well. Well...there's Jane Monheit, but, great as Jane is, Renee is the new head of the list. (Diana Krall is a pretty white girl, but not young; Madeleine Peyroux is young and white). This record took too long to make, but I forgive whoever slowed it up...it is FABULOUS. Yes, I like gorgeous redheads, but that's irrelevant with singing this good.....
As to specifics...13 tracks...4 original compositions, of which I liked "Midnight in Austin, Texas" the best...9 old standards, that every girl and her sister has done before (some more than others, naturally). Well...it's like hearing them for the first time. "Stars Fell on Alabama"..."When I Fall in Love"..."Ain't We Got Fun"...Renee makes them her own. With Jazz, that's OK...in fact, it's the idea. (If Anna Netrebko did that in "Lucia", it would be a different matter). The Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer standard "Skylark", the title cut, has been done over and over, but NEVER better (the late Eileen Farrell did it for Reference Recordings ~20 years ago, but she was of an entirely different order of magnitude). Ray Charles recorded "Hit The Road Jack" at least 45 years ago; it's written for a man, but Renee did fine, and was smart enough not to mess with the lyrics.
If you get the idea that I believe this to be a REALLY special album, you're right. In a couple of tracks, including "Stars Fell...", the sound mimicked a 1930s broadcast...that's OK, it wasn't overdone. I do see the earlier reviewer's caveat about the engineering; my sub-woofer got a work-out. That aside, this is one of the greatest Jazz albums I've ever heard. (Yes, Diana, I still love you). The little girl from her self-titled recording is growing up very nicely. Don't fail to grab this....ten stars, at least."
Simply the Best!
David Lind | Coupeville, WA United States | 02/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Skylark' is remarkable! Renee Olstead has a voice that is Sophisticated, Sexy and Beautiful! I can't stop playing 'Skylark'. Every song on this album belongs here and my favorites are; 'Hold Me Now', 'Skylark' and 'You've Changed'! This album is classy & fun and Renee makes every song a joy to listen to! Truly Beautiful! (Skylark and Renee Olstead)"
Renee Olstead All Grown Up
M. Meskimen | Beautiful East Texas | 11/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow... don't know why it took so long to see this newest album, but it was indeed worth the wait! Yeah, at 21 she still has that amazingly youthful quality but this set is sooooo much more than "cute". David Foster has crafted a sound and style that belies Renee's age and experience and, in fact, establishes a recognizable uniqueness that all singers struggle to find. Picture a mix of Joni James and Ricky Lee Jones... now double the talent level. Unlike many albums, this one is memorable for every track...no weak fillers here. If you love vocal swing with ear-filling, heart-pumping big band accompaniment, then all I can say is BUY IT!! "