Kaylé Brecher – Bredux: Collected Edges
Kaylé is a formidable vocalist, in addition to her composing/arranging. Her scope of vocals in fascinating, giving her the tools to make each and every track a fresh take on Jazz. Adding to that freshness is the strategy of employing a wide array of musicians—three guitarists, two keyboardists, five bassists, four percussionists, five drummers, and lots of horns and woodwinds.
Fred Neil’s Wild Child (World of Trouble) kicks off the album. Bassist Ratzo Harris and drummer Grant Calvin Weston give a cool and funky intro with Frank Butrey adding his equally funky guitar leads. Kaylé is soulful and sad and straight-up brilliant. A nice opening to a fascinating album.
Kaylé’s own So Complicated follows and the saxophone quartet of Ron Kerber (soprano), Tony Salicandro (alto), Ben Schachter (tenor), and Bill Zaccagni (baritone) is smoking hot. It is only Kaylé and the sax quartet on the track and the results are so cool.
More covers follow with Under Paris Skies by Giraud, Gannon, Sigman, and Drejac. Dzubinski’s piano runs are intriguing atop the almost military beat of drummer Tony DeAngelis and the Latin intricacies of bassist Chico Huff. The song moves between French and Latin feelings with Butrey’s electric guitar punctuating the rhythmic patterns. Kaylé’s vocalizations are rapturous. Spy Music co-written by Sheldon Peterson and Kayle Brecher, is given the two-guitar treatment from Jeff Lee Johnson and Ron Jennings. Huff’s bass and Erik Johnson on drums make for creative interplay between the musicians as Kaylé works the song over brilliantly with her vocals and improvs.
Cool is the first Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim number that they wrote together for the musical West Side Story. The composition was called “possibly the most complex instrumental music heard on Broadway.” Under the Kaylé arrangement, none of the complexity of rhythm and structure is lost.
Then comes the Freddie Hubbard gem Back to the Red Clay. It doesn’t get much better than Freddie and Kaylé adds her own lyrics to make this a truly collaborative tune and it works. Ratzo Harris gets some nice bass moments and Weston is smoking on the drums. Kaylé’s scat is as cool as Freddie deserves.
Johnny Mercer’s Autumn Leaves is beautifully rendered by Dzubinski’s piano and Cintron’s percussion. Brecher and Dzubinski’s co-arranging is excellent. That is followed by Kaylé’s Choices with its more straight-up Jazz and brilliant choices of changes.
Tunnels and So It Goes are both Kaylé originals. Tunnels is a lively piece with exquisite moments of muted trumpet from John Swana. A well-constructed piece with wonderful Latin excursions in the background from the piano. So It Goes opens with a brass section of Jimmy Parker (sousaphone), Barry McCommon (bass trombone), and Stan Slotter (trumpet). There are more Latin flavors from trumpet, guitar, and piano and the whole track is one sweet ride. The album concludes with an alternate track of Spy Music.
Bredux: Collected Edges is Kaylé Brecher’s showcase for her triple-threat status of vocalist-composer-arranger. The first listen concentrates on her expressive vocals but you come back again and again to digest her writing and arranging. She is brilliant at all three and Bredux: Collected Edges proves it magnificently.