I have to admit as I have stated before, the female jazz vocal pack is a tightly knit group of talent with about the artistic differences between each as thin as a sheet of paper. Till now...
Take old school vocal jazz, a touch of caberet and a dash of Broadway and you have a nice receipe for a very entertaining release from Lisa Kirchner entitled Charleston For You. I was immediately taken by some of the talent listed on the release as well including straight ahead drumming phenom Adam Cruz and guitar virutuoso Ron Jackson so for the purist that wants to argue "credibility" then game over.
Kirchner's style may be part of the reason she has quietly slipped past a few critics and undeservingly so. A nice voice i.e. great chops, spot on phrasing and a nice somewhat eclectic set list here make Charleston For You an incredibly entertaining tour de force of how much room a vocal jazz artist has to work and still remain true to their own integrity. There are several Kirchner originals here that are as solid as they come including "Red Wine and White Lies" along with "Lights of L.A." Some of the more eclectic tunes that help bind this wonderful release together include a nice riff on a Janis Ian tune "Jesse" and of course a standard from George Gershwin "The Man I Love."
Kirchner really does not have a prime vocal wheelhouse from which she holds court. Instead, Kirchner has the talent and ability to work folk, jazz, and even French and Brazilian songs. An elegant vocal talent that could as a former co-worker from American Idol would say about certain talent - "She could sing the phone book."
The bottom line for Kirchner is simply this...she entertains! There is a certain old school charm about a talent that cares about making that connectivity while striving to push their talent to a variety of different levels.
An absolutely delightful release and arguably her finest release to date.
Tracks: Dying To Confess; The Man I Love; Riverside; Marie Laveau; Blue By The River; Jesse; L'accordeoniste; Charleston For You; Lights of L.A.; Red Wine and White Lies; Phat Hat; Coracao Vagabundo/Berimbau.
Personnel: Galt McDermot: keyboards (1,5,11); James Weidman: piano (2); Phillip Namanworth: piano, John Miller: bass, Sue Evans: percussion (3); Tommy Mandel: piano (4); Lisa Kirchner: guitar (6); Ron Jackson: guitar, Lonnie Plaxico: bass, Adam Cruz: drums, Walter Kuehr: accordian (7); Mark Berman: keyboards (8,10); Phillip Namanworth: piano, John Miller: bass, Sue Evans: drums, Paul Ostermayer: saxophone; Ron Jackson: guitar, Lonnie Plaxico: bass, Adam Cruz: drums.
Special Thanks to Jim at Jazz Promo Services.