Saturday, April 6, 2013

Jan Shipiro Piano Bar After Hours Singing Empress 2013

Jan Shapiro Piano Bar After HoursThe difference between a cabaret singer and someone that dabbles in what some consider cocktail hour jazz is like having former President Bill Clinton ask the unbelievably absurd statement, "Can you tell me what the definition of is - is?"

Long story short Cabaret singers much like dinosaurs, 8-tracks and non digital television have all lost their luster, their way and in most cases their existence.

Jan Shapiro is different. Piano Bar after Hours is the fourth recording from the longtime Berklee Vocal Professor and she teams up with six favorite pianist for a series of intimate duets. Solo piano work is dangerous at best as it leaves the artist exposed warts and all. Piano duos are a different breed of trip wire where the ego must be left at the door, the tunes need to fit both players, and the mutual love and admiration allows the music to lead and the pianists to harmonically follow suite.

Shapiro's pristine soprano takes work including " They Say It's Wonderful" and the Horace  Silver classic "Doodlin" to a whole new level. Normally female vocalists/pianists have me at Home Depot looking for the short length of rope and rickety stool depart, not Shapiro.

Wonderful expression and phrasing, delightful pitch, tunes from such artists including Chick Corea, Al Jarreau, and Irving Berlin make Piano Bar After Hours one of the stealth vocalists of the year. A one word review would be "pleasurable." The organic feel of this recording takes you to the local watering hole for some spirits that come both in a bottle and from the icons passed.

Tracks: On A Slow Boat To China; You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me; I Keep On Lovin You; They Say It's Wonderful; Doodlin'; Lost Up In Loving You; Times Lie; If I Were A Bell; Who Cares; Tell Me; Company.

Personnel: Jan Shapiro: vocals; Daniela Schachter: piano; Bob Winter: piano; Tim Ray; Russell Hoffman; John Harrison III; Adriana Balic: keyboards; Bob Stoloff: vocals, drums; Joey Blake: bass, vocals;