Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sophisticated Ladies A True Story Swing and Latin Jazz 2012


An aptly titled release. An girl quartet that brings an air of sophistication and flair to more traditional Latin and swing music. Their latest A True Story is the perfect title for this slightly eclectic ensemble that the music and stories that unfold are uniquely personal thus a diverse genre defying presentation is created that is about as solid and entertaining as they come.

So what sets these ladies apart from similar "girl groups" attempting the same type shtick? Simply. This is a real 4tet. A working ensemble where all the members sing and each is given ample opportunity to showcase the instrumental talents as well. The end result is a release that has an infectious ebb and flow from the more melancholy to the slightly whimsical proving once and for all there is a heck of a lot of fun to be found in jazz.

Flavor and texture? This is not the typical cliche girl group that tends to come off as more of a novelty act than serious musicians. One listen and you will know that these ladies are as my friend Randy Jaackson would say, "In it to win it." Of course the familiar standards such as "The Lady Is A Tramp" and the Duke Ellington classic "Sophisticated Lady" lead off the recording. The more melancholy and slightly international flair with "Autumn Leaves" and "You Go To My Head." Closing out the next is the sizzling samba "Dancez Sur Moi."

These are four prime time musicians, a jazz collective from around the globe. It would be easy if not somewhat understandable to dismiss this group before even giving them a fair shot and that my friends would be a shame. Sophisticated Ladies can sing, play and most of all make the entertainment connection necessary to hold your attention for longer than two or three tunes.

An impressive release worthy of the time and trouble to check it out!
These ladies are indeed the real deal!

This 4tet breaks down as follows:
Nolwenn Leizour (France) : upright bass. Groove-a-licious.
Valerie Chane (La Reunion) : piano. A sublime musical and harmonic chameleon.
Rachael Magidson (San Francisco) : vocals, percussion, flugelhorn. The soul pumpkin of the group.
Emily Calme (France) : flute and vocals. A real deal virtuoso that ties the group together perfectly.

Tracks: The Lady Is A Tramp; Sophisticated Lady; Autumn Leaves; You Go To My Head; Segment; Gone With The Wind; Insensatez; Dansz Sur Moi.