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Breath of a Soul by Ellen Honert

From the land of windmills and wooden shoes to the town where Tony Bennett left his heart all those oh-so-many-years ago, vocalist/recording artist, Ellen Honert, injects mortal coil into every note on Breath of a Soul, her first CD release on Mill Station Records, that, in a few short years, brought her across The Big Pond to fulfill musically-motivated passions here in these United-or-Otherwise States.

From a happy farmland childhood in eastern Holland, through early travels with her father including Iceland and Peru, while studying political science at the University of Amsterdam, Ms. Honert discovered jazz on a Sarah Vaughn cassette she "couldn’t put down." After a Tuck and Patti concert in her native land, Ellen flew to the redwoods of northern California and Jazz Camp West, www.jazzcampwest.com, opening eyes and ears to new ways of listening and making music. Returning to the Netherlands, she made her way back to the US, giving us this, her first collection of songs.

Inspired by nature, music, love, animation, and Cirque de Soleil, the future is wide open to interpretation, but of all things certain and uncertain in the Universe, there are other compositions on the wind beneath Ellen Honert’s wings.

Blue (Honert / Martin - 6:24) Everything contains its opposite, the oyster, its transformed grain of sand, the cocoon, its butterfly, seasons serving one another, day into night, and night into Johnny-Mercer day. The bird knows not sometimes where it’s going to land when it leaves the perch, but if it never makes its airy journey, its soul will never mirror the being it seeks to reflect, never becoming what Gandhi meant when he said, "Be the change in the future you wish to see."

Life is What You Make It (Honert / Cathcart / Andress - 5:20) Fireflies metronome point and counterpoint, electrons and photons flick and spark, bursting and burning off the least ash leaving only the clear, silver lining on the in-side of the opposite and equal fascination of the rainbow’s rhapsodic colorations.

Spring (Honert / Martin - 6:03) A tisket, a tasket, love comes and goes. Tossing a coin in a fountain, take the pictures down and watch the horizon, remembering the good and letting the less than desirable go. Watch the plants along the park pathways for new growth and resonate the courage they unknowingly exude as long as they can, as honestly as they may. Bundle up for the rain, but don’t let it keep you inside. There’s a child pulling a kite and the sun is coming out again.

Two Lonely People (Honert / Martin - 4:00) If you break even, then you’re still ahead; you haven’t fallen behind, and you’re here to try again today. Love can die before we greet our final hours, but it isn’t love if it isn’t in the heart. Fear keeps us together, yet apart, and brings the end ever closer sooner than if we had another chance to make a house where hearts can live and thrive.

Someday (Duke - 5:02) Sacrifice in large doses is less than a satisfactory way to show a profit where passion and fulfillment have vested concerns and sometimes it’s best to stand a bit too close to the fire and let the heat engulf you than it is to head out in to the cold without a coat and hat.

Love Dance (Lins / Peranzetta / Williams - 7:49) Words run out sometimes, and the brain desires to let the body do the brunt of the work. You take a familiar path through an often-traveled forest and yet you’re surprised to see differences from morning to noonday and on into evening, moon to moon, and if you go there sometime ‘round midnight, you’ll see its fairytale inhabitants celebrating to music that is strange to your ear, but if you step from behind the shadowed tree, they will call you in and share the secrets that only creatures from their realm can appreciate and understand and you will add there experience to your repertoire of expression.

Hope (Honert / Martin - 5:20) Hope is not a plan of action, but without it we would never get out of bed, the blueprint on which we lay life-plans, it’s nightmare absence freezing us in our step, slipping by circumstance into an abyss that cannot be crawled from. Hope gone, life ceases mystery. Hope is the moral compass the hearts goes in search of.

If It’s Magic (Wonder - 4:20) The sorceress takes hypothesis, blends it with imagination, and with a puff of determined will, waving her wand, she conjures the necessary poetry transforming childish, whimsical notion into a new three-dimensional presence.

Got to Get You Into My Life (Lennon / McCartney - 4:20) The road winds, bends, encouraging us to drive on, to move forward in steady step, back straight, hands to the wheel, feet engaging to their equal, the inspiration necessary to the human soul.

Away (Honert / Martin - 5:47) There is a girl sitting in an Amsterdam restaurant, eating soup and bread, watching the rain, and one bird feeling the need to fly in such inclement weather, a message to deliver from Western Union. The words must be heard; indeed they will. She sops bowl with bread and heads out into the street as one train pulls in and another goes out.

Never Let Me Go (Evans / Livingston - 3:14) Forehead to forehead, eyes closed and given in to the release at the end of the day, a vow is spoken, and the request having been made, it flies out the window around the world over mountain and ocean and valley, down the narrow stone streets and up a river that takes everything out to sea, back to the room in which it was spoken, and in again of the very same hearts from which it ventured.

Inspiratie (van Dijk / van Dijk - 4:29) The heart in its own devices walks where it wishes with no intention to stand in its own way; the soul lives forever, coloring darkness with light that shines in shadow. Bridges line up, circles swirl higher, and it’s only for us to hold out our arms and fly, landing where we should, the heart knowing its own kind, there at the well-spring it will return to again and again, like salmon knowing the home from which they ever-roamed.

Brasilero, Barbara Streisand, bowstrings tied and untied again, the boat gone out and coming full-circle in the water than bends, curving as it goes, strains and saturations of each found here, waves lapping the vessel as it steers.

"Hallo, leuk je te zien," Ellen. Welcome to jazz's shores and the musical forest ahead!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ellen Honert
  • CD Title: Breath of a Soul
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Mill Station Records
  • Tracks: Blue (Honert / Martin) - Life is What You Make It (Honert / Cathcart / Andress) - Spring (Honert / Martin) - Two Lonely People (Honert / Martin) - Someday (Duke) - Love Dance (Lins / Peranzetta / Williams) - Hope (Honert / Martin) - If It’s Magic (Wonder) - Got to Get You Into My Life (Lennon / McCartney) - Away (Honert / Martin) - Never Let Me Go (Evans / Livingston) - Inspiratie (van Dijk / van Dijk)
  • Musicians: Ellen Honert, Dori Caymmi, Pedro Enstache, Alex Acuòa, Abraham Laboriel, Sr., Frank Martin, Patti Cathcart, Tuck Andress, Evan Price, David Balakrishnan, Mads Tolling, Mark Summer, Tony Lindsay, Abraham Laboriel, Jr., Ray Fuller, Mark Russo, Joel Smith, William Kennedy, Andy Narel, and Joseph Hebert.
  • Rating: Four Stars
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