Monday, January 28, 2013

Laila Salins Elevator Into The Sky 2013

In that tightly clustered pack of female vocalists. many which are the sonic equivalent of chewing gum which means once the flavor is gone they are more than forgettable. On Feb. 05/2013 Laila Salins sets her own mark and celebrates her own artistic voice which has been developed by successfully performing chamber music, world music, jazz, tango, music theatre and even contemporary opera. In short, Salins could sing the phone book if required.

When one thinks of traditional jazz vocalists then Salins may not necessarily be on the tip of your tongue as her formidable talents and unique presentation of a more world music approach marked with the intensity of a vocal story teller and the accompanying ebb and flow which add texture and flavor to a emotional tone that runs the sonic spectrum of human emotions.

Elevator Into The Sky is a unique collection of twelve songs for jazz chamber ensemble based on the Pulitzer-prize winning poet Anne Sexton. The work of Sexton is considered highly personal if not at times confessional which makes this material a perfect fit for Salins. There is a rich flavor, a texture of intimacy in the work of Sexton which highlights her desire for transcendence, for God, for  that personal acceptance that all individuals working in any artistic medium strive for while only a meager few actually wind up hitting the mark. This work is a profound statement of the intimacy of life. Chamber jazz is nothing new yet this particular presentation of taking selected work from a highly regarded poet places Elevator Into The Sky in a class by itself.

I long to stay away from the limitations of artistic labeling but Elevator Into The Sky may actually be closer to chamber poetry with a deceptively subtle nuance that is a beatnik vibe that explores not only the meaning of life but celebrates the journey along the way.

A wonderful recording

Tracks: Starry Night; Earth; Music Swims Back To Me; Frenzy; Riding The Elevator Into The Sky; Jesus Walking; Anna Who Was Mad; Welcome, Morning; The Fury Of God's Goodbye; The Fury Of Sunrises; The Fury of Guitars And Sopranos; The Fury Of Sundays.

Personnel: Laila Salins: vocals, flute and background vocals; Jamie Reynolds: piano; Marty Ehrlich: saxophone and clarinet; Matt Wigton: bass; Fred Kennedy: drums; Jim Matus: guitar, lute, and laoutar; Tony Vacca and Nur Habib Tiven: percussion.