Andrea Wood,
(Wood, 2011)

Andrea Wood just graduated from Michigan State University in 2009, but she already has the confidence of a seasoned performer, as you can tell from these 11 songs. They mix the familiar, like "My Favorite Things," with lesser-known songs like "Comes Love" and Wayne Shorter's "Hold on to the Center (House of Jade)." There is one she wrote, "For the Meantime," that compares well to the others.

There is great backup of piano, drums and acoustic bass (the musicians vary on the various tracks). Two tracks have tenor sax and another two add guitar. And "Pro Que Discutir Com Madame?" adds steel pan and congas. Three of the songs are not in English, but there are translations on the CD cover.

Wood has a perfect voice. At first listening I thought she might be showing it off a bit too much at points. But since she only does it on a few songs, I changed my mind. She changes her approach on the various tracks, and can deliver songs just as well in a more intimate style.

Singing jazz standards is an overcrowded field, but it would not be at all surprising if Wood soon rises to the top.

"Dhyana," by the way, is a Buddhist term for reflection and serenity.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Dave Howell

16 July 2011

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