Friday, August 23, 2013

Halie Loren Simply Love Justin Time 2013

I am addicted to Halie Loren, I have no plans to seek treatment!
Brent Black / Bop-N-Jazz

As a critic you get blasted with literally hundreds of releases from the pretty girl that thinks she can sing. Truth be told, 75% of the pretty girls that think they can sing can't but fortunately for us Halie Loren doesn't fall into that category. Pushing aside pristine vocals and impeccable phrasing, Halie Loren connects with a tune. Perhaps the one key to success as a vocalist is knowing who you are and being so comfortable in your own skin that you can take songs such as "For Sentimental Reasons" and "My Funny Valentine" and breath new life into timeless American classics and allow them to live forever. Again, Halie Loren has this gift.

Simply Love is the fourth release on the Canadian label Justin Time and by far her finest work to date. The female jazz vocalist sorority is a tightly clustered pack, in fact so tightly clustered it can on occasion cause talent such as Halie Loren to fall between the cracks. The intimacy that permeates Simply Love is more of an evocative experience more so than a traditional vocal jazz release. The addition of strings on this recording provide the perfect contrast in texture for her rich voice with just a hint of a smokey finish. Loren also succeeds in accomplishing what few of her contemporaries can seem to muster and that would be carefully selected standards, a few popular tunes and the addition of some well conceived originals. A well planned, phenomenally executed and deceptively subtle presentation of the joy of song.

The Loren original "Cuando Bailamos" is a delightfully captivating bossa nova and provides the perfect melodic counterpoint to the Carol King classic, "I Feel The Earth Move." The haunting beautiful reharm of the Johnny Mercer / Henry Mancini standard "Moon River" meticulously blows the dust off an iconic classic that has been done to death but never this well.

Most female vocalist fail to fall into the memorable pile simply based on the volume of work I receive. When talent such as Halie Loren crosses your desk then you pay attention. Halie Loren is far more than a vocalist, she is an entertainer.

Tracks: For Sentimental Reasons; Cuando Bailamos; L-O-V-E; On The Sunny Side Of The Street; I Feel The Earth Move; My Funny Valentine; I've Got To See You Again; Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour; Moon River; Bare Feet; Happy Together; Dream A Little Dream Of Me; Simply Love.

Personnel: Halie Loren: Vocals; Matt Treder: Piano, Rhodes, String Arrangements; Mark Schneider: Bass; Brian West: Drums, Percussion; William Seihi Marsh: Guitar (1,2,4,5,10); Daniel Gallo: Guitar (13); Sergei Teleshev: Button Accordion; Craig Chee: Ukulele; Ali Losik Heyer: Ukulele; Dale Bradley: Cello (2,7,8); Dave Burham: Violin (2,7,8); Lisa McWhorter: Violin (2,8); Clark Spencer: Viola (2,8).