Ellen Honert, |
Breath of the Soul
(Mill Station, 2006)
Jazz vocalist and composer Ellen Honert grew up in the Netherlands, where she met the acclaimed duo Tuck & Patti; and this was the starting point of her debut album Breath of Soul. The CD features six original songs as well as six covers, brilliantly interpreted by a bunch of excellent musicians including Peruvian percussion master Alex Acuna, Tuck & Patti, co-writer Frank Martin and many more.
It starts off with the relaxed performance of "Blue," a hauntingly beautiful melodic song by Honert and Martin. Acuna's percussion, Martin's electric piano, guitar (Dori Caymmi), bass (Abraham Laboriel) and flute (Pedro Eustache) set the background for Ellen's wonderful singing. She has a warm and rich alto voice that makes you shiver; together with Patti Cathcart she sings a breathtaking duet on "Life is What You Make It." Only accompanied by Tuck Andress on guitar, this co-writing by Honert/Tuck & Patti showcases the ripeness of Honert's performance. Most of her songs are rhythmic lyrical ballads with great musical accompaniment; songs that make you chill out and forget about daily troubles.
The music was recorded in different studios in California, produced and arranged by Frank Martin, and the quality of the recordings proves the choice right. The cover versions include classic jazz tunes like "Someday" (George Duke), Brazilian jazz like "Love Dance" (Lins/Peranzzetta/Williams) and popular songs like "If It's Magic" (Stevie Wonder) and "Got to Get You into My Life" (Lennon/McCartney). Further highlights are Honert's intoxicating solo composition "Away" and her solo performance (piano and vocals) on the tender song "Never Let Me Go" (Evans/Livingstone).
With Breath of Soul Ellen Honert has released a brilliant album. Her superb singing and composing is topped with an exceptional lineup that made Ellen's dreams come true. For me, she joined the club of the greatest contemporary jazz singers. You don't believe me? Have a listen.
28 March 2009
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