Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kristin Slipp & Dov Manski A Thousand Julys Sunnyside 2013

A Thousand Julys is deliciously organic and warm, Slipp and Manski may well be the future for vocal jazz.
Brent Black /

Not a conceptual idea in the strictest sense but the end result is classic jazz vocals with a contemporary if not indie twist. Kristin Slipp and Dov Manski could easily fly under your radar or get lost in the overly crowded shuffle that is modern jazz vocals and that would be a pity. A melodic stroke of genius finds this eclectic duo working a riff on compositions from the golden age of jazz vocals with a unique pop flavor that is reminiscent of a more ethereal indie flair.

Nothing is predictable or contrived, the tunes are familiar yet none have been beaten to death and the arrangements are fresh and modern avoiding the overblown production quality exhibited by similar artists. Memorable compositions here include, "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" along with "I Cover The Waterfront" and "Just One Of Those Things." Dov Manski takes the roll of accompanist  to another level, minor tonalities with deep rich moving harmonics that provide a subtle nuance of counterpoint. Kristin Slipp manipulates her tone and phrasing in a delightfully raw and soul shattering presentation of unadorned vocals that are the perfect marriage of simplicity and complexity that allows some timeless classics to breath life yet again.

This is vocal minimalism at an incredibly evocative level of tone, timing and texture. Colors you can hear and emotions that are recreated on their own harmonic path of the lyrical road less traveled. A critic can become quickly jaded with more of the same when it comes to anything remotely close to the Great American Songbook. A jazz journalist can have his lyrical soul jump started with a creative riff on the old made new.

Slipp and Manski turn old school new cool. Perhaps the closest one can come to a Becker and Fagen for modern jazz.

Tracks: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes; I Get Along Without You Very Well; You Go To My Head; The Way You Look Tonight; I Cover The Waterfront; Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love; For Heaven's Sake; I Concentrate On You; Just One Of Those Things; End Of A Love Affair; Violet For Your Furs; Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

Personnel: Kristin Slipp: Vocals; Dov Manski: Piano/Wurlitzer