Album: I Love Paris
Label: Blue Canoe Records
Jazz vocalist Melbreeze once again embraces the worlds of Brazilian syncopation with traces of bossa nova, rhumba, calypso, baião, and Latin swing on her latest release I Love Paris. A compilation of classic pop tunes and jazz standards, the recording is produced by Melbreeze and her keyboardist Scott Kinsey. The result is a sonically luxuriating ride into the after-hours cafe culture.
Possessing a vocal style familiar to audiences by the likes of Celia Cruz and Dolores del Rio, Melbreeze winds her listener around her penetrative delivery. With a flare for vocal theatrics, she drapes the lyrics in the silky textures of Kinsey’s keys along Johnny Mercer’s prized novelty “Autumn Leaves,” basking in the rhumba pulsations of Gergö Borlai’s drums and Brad Dutz’s percussion. Tim Hagans’ trumpet fastens a flirtatious lift along the melodic swells. Continuing deeper into the release, the bossa nova sway of “I Fall in Love Too Easily,” an audience favorite by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn, highlights a romantic lilt in Melbreeze’s register.
Her rendition of “Sentimental Journey,” written by Les Brown, Ben Homer, and Bud Green, is spellbinding, displaying the suave and grace of classic swing vocalists. The bluesy tone in her vocal raptures across “My Funny Valentine” has a charisma that reels audiences in, and the calypso beating of “What Lola Wants” combined with her purring vocals produce a nocturnal peal favorable to the after-hours cafe culture. The recording closes with the wispy torchlight serenade “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” which Melbreeze handles with a deep sensitivity to the emotions expressed in the lyrics.
If this was the 1890’s, Toulouse-Lautrec would be captivated by Melbreeze’s performance so much that he’d paint her portrait. If this was the turn of the century, pianist Eric Satie would be honored to accompany her. There is a La Belle Epoque quality in Melbreeze’s style that is rare and universally appealing. She has a Parisian Left Bank streak that is incontestable.
Melbreeze – vocals
Scott Kinsey – keyboards, Trilian bass, and programming
Tim Hagans – trumpet
Gergö Borlai – drums
Brad Dutz – percussion and glass marimba
Tim Hagans – trumpet
Brad Dutz – percussion, slate marimba, and frame drum
Pedro Martins – guitar
Gary Novak – drums
Mer Sal – background vocals
Landon & Vivian Chen – children and baby sounds on “Dat Dere”
Doug Webb – tenor saxophone
Yotam Silberstein guitar
Tim Lefebvre – electric and upright bass
Josh Smith – guitar
Travis Carlton – electric bass
Artyom Manukyan – cello
Hadrien Feraud – electric bass