|Title – Lost In A Dream
Artist – Kristin Callahan
For those unaware, a departure from Kristin Callahan’s more straight-ahead, swing-centered projects, her new album Lost In A Dream (out July 16th, 2021) features pensive, romantic, Latin-tinged arrangements of jazz standards, as well as one Callahan original.
Indeed, her rich vocals are supported by the unique instrumentation of acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, drums and percussion, and the occasional horn feature.
Following up her previous albums A New Love and One Magic Day, both more traditional collections of standards, Callahan envisioned a different aesthetic for Lost in a Dream. I wanted an earthier sound, Callahan says, with acoustic guitar, percussion, a move away from being quite so traditional.
I wanted to do something that really reflected me: my personality, my style, my taste. Eliot [bassist Eliot Seppa] really understood. We discussed what I was thinking and he was so open to it all.
1. Lush Life (5:26)
Co-produced and arranged by the aforementioned bassist Eliot Seppa, with Matvei Sigalov (guitars), Tom Teasley (multi-percussion), Joe Herrera (trumpet) and more, the album opens on the richly abundant ambiance of the aptly-named Lush Life and the atmospherically-imbued short embarkation into Memories Always Start, before bringing us the dulcet trumpet-led, layered mood of Monks Round Midnight, with one of my own personal favorites here, the upbeat, and generously addictive hipsway of the romanticized Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise up next.
Callahan’s vocal warmth and earnestness is truly brought to the fore next on the expressive Lost in a Dream (the one Callahan original here) which is itself backed by the upright bass-led, Latin-flavored Caravan, with the album rounding out on the simply gorgeous and free flowing melodies of The Shadow of Your Smile, these eight tracks closing all too soon on the dutiful musical poignancy of expressive mood found within Once I Loved.
By focusing on arrangements and emotional intent, rather than filling space in a conventional way with virtuosic improvised solos, Callahan got to the heart of what defines her as an artist with Lost in a Dream.
Seppa and the band, with their receptive ears and intuitive musicianship, played an indispensable role. I’m looking for the vibe of the song, getting the feeling across, Callahan says, and no doubt, that’s precisely what she did.