Vocalist Kristina Smith is a new gem in Patois Records coffer exhibiting a melodic luster with a clarion ring that resonates waves of soothing tranquility. Kristina’s debut album Offshore Echoes is a mix of Copacabana grooves with a torchlight flint and swing jazz atmospherics. Tracks like "Ilu Aye" and "Valentin" will have audiences dancing in the aisles, and numbers like "Tenderly" and "Open Your Eyes You Can Fly" will offer listeners a cozy respite from the daily rigors of everyday chores. It is an album fraught with smooth jazz jaunts that allow listeners an escape to an oasis of blissful riffs surrounded in charming melodic eaves.
The reggae grooves icing Paul Simon’s pop tune "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)" have a cool jazz peddling that puts a modern sheen on a classic pop melody. Kristina makes singing seem so easy and freeing as she traverses across the soul-inspired treads of Sting’s tune "Tea In The Sahara." Her gentle sensibilities are starkly pronounced in the swishing waves of "Love Everlasting." The nightclub grooves of "Cherokee" are adorned with shimmery horns and garbed in a plumage of feathery winged arrangements in "Aruanda." Kristina treats every song like it is very special to her and holds a sentimental meaning for her. She presents them in the best light possible and treats them with a tenderness that is reminiscent of classic jazz vocalists like Cassandra Wilson and Nina Simone. She works with trembling Afro-Cuban accents on "Open Your Eyes You Can Fly" and in "Ilu Aye" revealing an intrinsic bond with tribal-based esthetics. She relates to a multitude of music cultures bringing a broad dimension to these songs with crossover capabilities.
Kristina has a voice that melds with the music and lets the rhythmic patterns guide her lifts and descents. The tranquility which permeates from every cell of these songs is attractive and will put shards of bliss in the listener’s mind. Offshore Echoes is a pleasing album from top to bottom that renews faith in jazz music to transform the darkness into light.