Review: Kayle Brecher – This Is Life

Kayle Brecher – THIS IS LIFE:  If there’s such a thing as an “improvising vocalist” – Kayle is IT, folks!  It’s been a while since I reviewed her astounding jazz vocal work (issue # 129, to be exact), and this brand new release just SMOKES with “spur of the moment” vocal work… just listen to the opening track, “Not Alone“, and you’ll hear what happens when an artist with heavy talent, and the ability to pull a song all together in a fun & refreshing way, does it… one of the coolest vocal tracks I’ve heard (yet) in 2017!  It doesn’t hurt, of course, that she chose such a stellar cast of players to support her vocals…  Ratzo Harris: bass; Frank Butrey: guitar; Grant Calvin Weston: drums; Brandee Younger: harp; Gloria Galante: harp; Benjamin Sutin: violin; David Dzubinski: piano… I mean, CHECK out Brandee’s harp on this track – unbelievably spontaneous!

Kayle’s interpretation of Freddie Hubbard’s tune, “Red Clay”, is titled “Back to the Red Clay“, and you won’t find a hotter vocal performance of this jazz classic than Kayle does on this great song.  Of the nine songs offered up, though, it is the 6:45 closer, “The Gift“, that gets my vote for personal favorite… if you have a friend in need of some jazz solace, get this one for them.  I give Kayle & her crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of a (perfect) 5.00… meaning that this one also gets a “PICK” for “best vocal-led jazz set”.  Get more information on Kayle’s website.           Rotcod Zzaj