Album: 7 Shades of Snow
Artist: June Bisantz
Label: Arabesque Records
Label Website: arabesquerecords.com
Artist Website: junebisantz.com
Bisantz’s current release on the Arabesque label is a collection of rare and tranquil sounding holiday/winter songs written by Arnold Miller and Connie Pearce for American vocalist June Christy in 1961. Bisantz’s recording 7 Shades of Snow combines swing jazz with ballroom-glinted rhythms like torchlight waltzes and intimate trots.
Featuring bassist Jon Burr and his jazz sextet backing Bisantz, the recording began in the winter of 2020 at the height of pandemic restrictions. This project was conceived, arranged, and recorded remotely in seven separate studios with musicians who had never met prior. Digital technology combined with the talent of Jon Burr and his jazz sextet made the album a reality in spite of widespread lockdowns.
A recurring theme is the pensive embers often customized by the soft glisten of Mike Eckroth’s keys entwined in the slow dewy strums of James Chirilio’s guitar as Brandon Lee’s trumpet speckles the melody in cushiony flurries like in “Winter’s Got Spring Up Its Sleeve.” Changing course, “Ring A Merry Bell” is affixed to bassist Burr’s slinky beats peppered in Lee’s trotting trumpet as Bisantz’s intuitive leanings gloss the lyrics with a pulsating verve. Her vocals are studded with a light spring in the lyrical phrasing along “Hang Them on the Tree,” complimenting Eckroth’s jaunty keys, then transitions into a soothing balm through the title track, demonstrating the inner serenity inherent in Bisantz’s register.
Bisantz’s penchant to intimate calmness and inner peace in her singing is prevalent throughout the recording. The album leaves the listener feeling sublime and likely wishing to revisit these sensations frequently.
June Bisantz: vocals
John Burr: bass
Mike Eckroth: piano
James Chirillo: (Char-ill-o): guitar
Brandon Lee: trumpet
Marc Pfaneuf (Fan-oof): saxophone
Alvester Garnett: drums