by Scott Yanow of Los Angeles Jazz Scene, July issue
Sue C. Maskaleris, Love is the Key.
Sue Maskaleris is a versatile and multi-talented musician. A superior jazz pianist, she is also a skilled jazz singer who improvises well, and an arranger-composer-lyricist who produces her own recordings. All of her skills are in evidence on Love Is The Key.
Maskaleris performs eight of her original compositions on Love Is The Key plus two Brazilian songs for which she wrote the English lyrics. While some of her originals deal with love (“Bliss,” “Love Will Overflow,” “Love Is The Key”) or the lack of (the humorous “Valentine’s Day For One”), she also discusses social issues (most notably “March Of The Refugee”) and universal topics (“Procrastination”). The lyrics are sophisticated and contain their own surprises, the performances leave room for solos (soprano-saxophonist Doc Halliday and violinist Sara Caswell are among the guests who take honors), and the background singers include Janis Siegel (Manhattan Transfer) and Darmon Meader (New York Voices).
The result is a consistently intriguing CD filled with high-quality singing, lyrics and improvisations. Love Is The Key is well worth exploring and available from www.suemask.com.