You Go to My Head Janelle Monique (Zafe’Musik 2008)
Complex as it may be to exhume logic from the decision to spin classics when the creative mind of this young composer lays dormant, the fact is, Janelle Monique’s debut jewel-box works! Vocalist Janelle Monique’s You Go to My Head penetrates the world of the "diabolically seductive" vocalists of today’s jazz.
The course Ms. Monique takes in breaking bread with these standards is a fine lesson plan for any vocal ladder-climber. She takes each spin to task, injecting the Latin appeal with a soulful heart. Crisp tones, rigorous improvisation and daring non-conformist arrangements make this an adventure.
Note the work of producer Oliver Miguel who with his vocal siren, mixes and manipulates some of "today’s sounds" best spins. Case in point, Sting’s "Fragile" for the template of design, is recreated with respect and a fine Latin-esque burn.
The attitude of the project can best be identified by the calculated grooves of "Round Midnight" and the brass attack of Nick Ali. Although perceived as a showcase duet, for MS. Monique and Jessie Roy, the true star, with no disrespect, is the arrangement!
You Go to My Head with all its rhythmic sparkle iPod bound!
Les Fish Les Fish & The Latin Jazz Cats (Self 2005)
String heavy with free Latin spirit, an ever-evolving tone resides in the smooth and vibrant work of guitarist Les Fish. Mix in the sax work of George Garzone with the rest of the Jazz Cats, and you have a fine outing. Whatever the inspiration that helps this disk off the assembly, needs my warmest appreciation.
"Ah Cuba" is one of the most interesting spins on this effort. Its brass arrangement can be truly defined as the elephant on the disk--sharp, crisp and full of Latino flavor married with the ivories of Osmany Paredes, takes the scale to task.
The merging of moods take place as you enter Fish’s "Fuzziness," a subtle blend of strings and percussion as Lee Fish caresses the metal to swoon in the strings. I find this piece to be the café on this trip.
Les and the Cats have made a lasting leap into the next dimension of their craft!
Keep the Feel!