Saturday, February 15, 2014

Jaclyn Guillou The Lover's Walk Solid Singer 2014


A treasure that is quietly evolving into one of the premier vocalists of our time.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
I pursue my craft slightly different than most critics. I'm honest...The female jazz vocalist sorority is a tightly clustered pack of individuals that are essentially releasing different versions of the same album and no new ground is being cut. Send me a release filled with covers and I am not terribly impressed. Send me a release with seven original and diverse compositions that allow your own artistic voice to shine through then you have my undivided attention.
 
Welcome Jaclyn Guillou and The Lover's Walk...
 
This is a release brimming with subtle sophistication and an intimate execution that is at times flawless. Organic, ambient, ethereal and contemporary may sum the release up in four words. While the plethora of female vocalists lurking about often leave me cold. The Lover's Walk succeeds on multiple levels including the Belgian trio that does far more than just accompany Guillou. This esteemed piano trio provides counterpoint and nuanced texture as needed, these are far more than afterthoughts but instead key pieces to Jaclyn Guillou's harmonic puzzle. The journey of love, almost cliché yet the compositions here take a trite conceptual notion and elevate the concept to an emotive quality rarely reached.
 
Tone, phrasing, and execution are all there. Guillou is an engaging and often introspective lyricist that brings an old word charm to tunes such as the exquisite "The Lover's Walk" while showing a range of influences on "Goodbye December." Over the past eighteen months I have listened to more female vocal releases than I can remember. Jaclyn Guillou is a breath of fresh air and The Lover's Walk is indeed a release to remember!
 
Tracks: The Lover's Walk; Burning Question; If You; Restless; The Road; Sometimes; Goodbye December.
 
Personnel: Jaclyn Guillou: Vocals; Bram Weijters: Piano; Piet Verbist: Bass; Toon Van Dionant: Drums.