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MP3 Barbara Blair - September in the Rain
"A voice like warm cocoa on a winter''s night." An intimate album - pour the wine, light the candles. With wisdom, insight and naked honesty her singing is inventive and deeply moving, her smoky voice inhabiting the melodies with radiance and warmth.
11 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, EASY LISTENING: Love Songs
Melodic, fluid, and consistent, Barbara Blair’s September in the Rain offers serenity in a chaotic world. Cindy McLeod, https://www.tradebit.com
“A voice like warm cocoa on a winter’s night.” Canadian jazz vocalist Barbara Blair’s long-awaited new release September in the Rain is sung with wisdom, insight and honesty. In this collection of mainstream jazz standards which includes poignant and mesmerizing renditions of It Never Entered My Mind, You Go to My Head and Everything Happens to Me, Barbara’s smoky voice inhabits the melodies with radiance and warmth that is as natural as it is unique.
Her horn-like phrasings and swinging improvisations are smooth and tasteful in My Romance, I Didn’t Know What Time It Was, Nice Work if You Can Get It, East of the Sun (West of the Moon), and It Could Happen to You. She scats seamlessly in the gentle bossa There Will Never Be Another You and trades vocal lines with guitarist Brian Nova in an amusing How About You?
Contributing sensitive, thoughtful support for Barbara’s commanding interpretations, her teammates are all first call studio wizards with lifetimes in the international jazz world. Acclaimed Seattle based guitarist Brian Nova was a protégé of both Joe Pass and Herb Ellis. Bassist Buddy Catlett’s credits read like a jazz history lesson including long stints with Count Basie and Louis Armstrong. Buddy’s numerous recordings include Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon and Armstrong’s classic What A Wonderful World. Drummer Greg Williamson, veteran of Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd, records and tours with Ernestine Anderson. Guitarist and bassist Joey Smith, former arranger with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, has played in Barbara’s JazzAffair ensemble for 15 years.
Vocalist, educator, and jazz messenger Barbara Blair counts herself among the fortunate few who spend their life following their passion. With a deep, rich voice, Barbara’s interpretive approach comes from the giants and innovators of mainstream jazz including Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Carmen McRae.
Following a career in the classical music scene, Barbara returned to her first love, jazz, studying with luminaries Kurt Elling, Ellis Marsalis, Sheila Jordan, Paul Horn, Nancy King and Jay Clayton. Nearly two decades of performing and touring add polish and depth to her performances.
A headliner at the 2005 and 2006 Newport Oregon Jazz Festival, Barbara was part of an elite roster that included Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Holly Hoffman, Ken Peplowski and Houston Person.
Barbara’s education program, The School of Cool-An Introduction to Jazz, has played to more than 30,000 students in primary and secondary schools. Dividing her time between concert and educational tours throughout western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, a recent tour took Barbara to Hawaii and Australia.
“Music is my life. My voice is my soul. It’s all and everything I am.” [Barbara]
"Melodic, fluid, and consistent, Barbara Blair’s September in the Rain offers serenity in a chaotic world." Cindy McLeod, https://www.tradebit.com
“Classy, effervescent and swinging! Great jazz singer!”
“September in the Rain: subtle, soulful singing
that cuts to the heart of jazz.”
Joseph Blake Times-Colonist
“I love Barbara’s voice - it’s like warm cocoa on a winter’s night.”
Leonard Camplin, Symphony Conductor
“Excellent! Classic jazz tunes done with impeccable taste.
Dusty Baker, Music Director, KYTE-FM
REVIEW by CINDY MCLEOD, https://www.tradebit.com
Vocalist Barbara Blair gently delivers the jazz message in a relaxed mainstream combo setting with her latest CD release September in the Rain. This inviting collection of eleven classics from The Great American Songbooks features the understated songstress backed by her smooth guitar trio.
Blair’s voice is as clear and honest as it gets, her warmth dominates her masterly control. Pure and of simple elegance, there’s a velvety texture in her timbre, the richness folding into her phrasing and shaping the melody into luxurious lyricism. The trio, formed of Brian Nova (guitar/vocal), Joey Smith (bass/guitar), and Greg Williamson (drums), is well worth the listen. This sound is all too rare, with Nova’s polished guitar forming the cornerstone of a sensitive, supportive trio and impeccable vocal rhythm section. Bassist Buddy Catlett contributes two of the tracks, seamlessly adding another shade to the musical palette.
Throughout Blair pays careful attention to the lyric and melody, placing each note thoughtfully and deliberately. This creates loads of space for the harmony to linger, beautifully suspended by the tasty rhythm section. Swing is the operative word here, with Blair’s phrasing tempting the musicians on "My Romance" and "I Didn’t Know What Time It Was". "How About You?" features a playful vocal duet with guitarist Nova, who also contributes a standout solo on the up-tempo version of "It Could Happen to You". The Latin "There Will Never Be Another You" is highlighted by Blair’s musical scat solo and the crisp drumming of Greg Williamson. Blair’s musicianship is clearly evident on "You Go To My Head", a sublime blues ballad that is compelling and tender.
Melodic, fluid, and consistent, Barbara Blair’s September in the Rain offers serenity in a chaotic world.
REVIEW by JOSEPH BLAKE, Times Colonist staff, [4-STAR RATING]
Victoria jazz vocalist Barbara Blair’s latest CD features guitar trios backing the singer’s well-articulated readings of jazz standards. Blair’s warm, confident vocals blow a range of horn-like colours. Her emotive versions give the classic repertoire soul-revealing depth. Just check out her version of It Never Entered My Mind to hear how well worn material can be made new and very personal.
The backing band is composed entirely of first call studio wizards with lifetimes in the international jazz world, in bassist Catlett’s case stretching back to work with Armstrong, Basie and Sinatra. Seattle guitarist/vocalist Brian Nova is outstanding; Joey Smith (guitar/bass), Buddy Catlett (bass) and Greg Williamson (drums) all contribute sensitive, thoughtful support for Blair’s wise interpretations.
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