“I Love Paris” declares Melbreeze in song. It “fucking sizzles” she exclaims, adding just a tad of creative expression to the lyrics of Cole Porter. The delightful ambiance of France was the perfect vacation spot (if only in one’s mind) to celebrate the unveiling of her tenth—yes, its been that many— record.
Melbreeze has long put the instrumental aspect upfront or on top. Her voice is often heard as another cog in her crafty musical structure. Ah, her voice, and as much her phrasing, is so very unique on to itself. The neighborhoods in which she has gracefully taken up welcome residence have been occupied by many of the finest jazz and fusion musicians in the world,.
It is questionable, if not more like doubtful, whether or not Porter would have been pleased with Melbreeze’s adjective selection, nor her mid-song story of trying to find her f*****g boyfriend in Paris. The irony in place is that the rest of the song might as well have been sung by the likes of Doris Day. The tune is respected and gifted with good humor. Musically reinforced by the dynamics of the Lefebvre/Novak rhythm section, “I Love Paris” was savored as the title track.
In fact, many standards are both honored and reborn, in an outing showing yet another side of the Turkish vocalist. Having demonstrated her abilities in world music, Latin, and many other styles, it is refreshing to never know exactly what you are going to get. She will never be referred to as predictable, instead, maybe the See’s Candies of music. Even here she is husky alongside the penetrating trumpet mute of Hagan, and the gliding lines of pianist Kinsey on “Autumn Leaves.” In an instant, she is higher and lighter adjoining the vibe created by Borlai and Hagans in “I Fall in Love Too Easily.” The tune’s sweet jiving groove spins on the hook. Spinning even more into a vortex, Melbreeze follows her heart, which of course, leads easily back to the amore of love.
A bluesy guitar solo from Josh Smith and Kinsey’s Hammond B3 take “My Funny Valentine” out for a special evening with Melbreeze. The band’s acceleration provided the transportation for a heartfelt, uplifting, yet offbeat night. Always expect the unexpected, as Melbreeze recounts the Broadway smash turned movie musical, Damn Yankees. “Whatever Lola Wants” Lola gets. That may have actually been the case if Joe Hardy(fictional character from the play/movie) had heard this sexy Lola. Stylish and seductive, with Feraud’s heartbeat capturing the mood, Melbreeze implored the young man to “give in.” But alas, we know that is not how the story ends. A giggle that was somewhere between Gwen Verdon’s Broadway and movie portrayal and a high school girl was an amusing climax.
You can hear the train clickety-clacking into the station signaling a “Sentimental Journey” about to board. A ride to the past took us to the 1940s, and the swing styling of the great Ella Fitzgerald. Sweet counterpoint is in the mix in the form of a sax solo from Doug Webb. Melbreeze brings more magic to the moment by singing part of the tune in French. The band is left to jam at will against the sound of the train leaving the station.
Four more standards are explored and reimagined in this modern day vision as seen and heard by Melbreeze. Once again her command of center stage is as natural as the sun coming up in the morning. It’s also quirky and uninhibited. She brings her own sometimes strange brew to the party. She surrounds herself with quality jazz musicians and, most importantly, knows when to step back and let them play. Some people love whisky, some people don’t. Your own taste will determine if she is the right elixir for you. </em
Autumn Leaves; I Fall In Love Too Easily; Dat Dere; Sentimental Journey; Don’t Explain; I Love Paris; My Funny Valentine; Yesterdays; What Lola Wants; Killing Me Softly With Your Song
Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.
Amazon reviews Steve Hunt’s new album “Connections” with 5/5 Stars