It seems that there will always be a plethora of young female jazz singers, all doing the standards to the best of their abilities. But very few do well enough to warrant attention. After all, how many times can young women sing "Fever" before it becomes trite and bland?
Valerie Joyce, Carrie Landsgaard and Erin Boheme do warrant attention. They are adept at reinterpreting classics, and in some cases, writing their own tunes. On her debut album, Joyce takes her turn at songs that include Rodgers and Harts "It Never Entered My Mind," Miles Daviss "Blue in Green," Cooley and Davenports "Fever" (of course), and even a jazzed-up version of Tracy Chapmans modern-rock hit "Baby Can I Hold You." Her album is slyly enticing, as she performs cabaret songs in a soft cabaret style.
If Joyces album is deep and sultry, Landsgaards is the opposite. While still well within the traditional jazz realm, her songs are swinging and lively, and her voice is energetic and captivating. From the strong opening, "Youd Be So Nice to Come Home to," to the co-penned title track, Landsgaard sings with passion, ably accompanied by a talented backing band. Given the emotional range and depth of her singing, it is not surprising that she is also an aspiring actress.
Erin Boheme rounds out the trio of discs with her classy What Love Is. She includes self-penned tunes, some classics, and -- ironically -- a Tracy Chapman tune ("Give Me One Reason"). Bohemes vocals are clean and clear on her debut album, and her interpretation of Chapmans pop tune is inventive, transposing effectively to the jazz genre. If there is one fault, it is that Boheme plays it too safe. On both her own tunes and the standards, she plays the role of high school choir soloist. Her performances are without fault, but there is hardly any real depth to what she sings (the heartfelt "Anything" a notable exception). But shes quite young, and has great potential, so heres to holding out that she will become more adventuresome on her sophomore album.
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