Friday, January 11, 2013

Lisa Forkish Bridges 2013

Why is it all cute girls "think" they can sing...Lisa Forkish can and rocks her new and slightly eclectic releases Bridges. A jazz gumbo of standards, swing, and a myriad of other influences coming together nicely. This release works largely in part to the innate ability to transform her talent from "singer" to "story teller" in an incredibly entertaining effort.

One of the things that drives me nuts is the over abundance of female vocalists that I have to sift through. Don't get me wrong. Most are good and certainly have talent but they are like bubblegum when the flavor is used up, forgettable. Forkish is one of the handful over the past couple of years that immediately drops into the memorable category. Soulful. Great phrasing and a tone that has massive crossover potential. The cover of "For What It's Worth" is given that jazz nasty treatment that goes straight for the soul. Forkish has a fresh  contemporary approach without landing into that off-broadway, cruise ship type singer status I hear so often. The arrangements here are tight and Forkish delivers on some originals that sound like "hits on deck."

Being a critic is far more than always being "critical" but you would be hard pressed to find any glaring flaws in this recording.  I did notice that Forkish is described on her web site as a mix of jazz, soul, folk and then I saw the word "cabaret." I don't hear it, at least not on this release but she should stay as far away from the overly crowded and musically desolate landscape of a "cabaret singer." Just food for thought. O.k. so back to the recording...

Forkish talents as a lyricist run the table from the excitement of a new romance to fighting sexual violence which is the underlying theme of "Solidarity." Another cover of note includes a New Orleans vibe on "I Could Have Danced All Night" where again the arrangement breathes new life and jump starts a forgotten classic back to life. 

Forkish is a vocal artist, educator, and composer which can be easily summed up by calling her the real deal. Forkish is a summa cum laude graduate from the Berklee School of Music with the previously mentioned "Solidarity" achieving runner up status in the Berklee Songwriting for Social Change contest. Normally releases of this nature are fairly predictable but Bridges takes the listener on a visceral and cerebral journey that is well worth the time! A disc that gives up a little something new of itself with each subsequent spin. A rising star!

Tracks: Adrenaline; For What It's Worth; Cold Light Of Day; City of Bridges; If I Should Lose You; I Could Have Danced All Night; Unraveling; You Give Me Breath; Fools In Love; No More Blues; Solidarity; All The Stars Will Allow.

Personnel: Lisa Forkish: vocals; Patrick Anseth: guitar; Paul Eastburn: bass; Carrie Jahde: drums.
Special Guests: Cava Menzies: piano (5,10,11,); Jon Schroder: cello (3,12); Aaron Saul: alto sax (4,6); Sarah Vela: vocals; (2,3,7,8,11,12). where you can find out more and listen to some selected tracks!