Miki Purnell is reviewed by Bebop Spoken Here UK

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BEBOP SPOKEN HERE

CD Review: Miki Purnell – Midnight Bloom

Miki Purnell (vocal); Tamir Hendelman (piano); Alex Frank (bass);  Dean Koba (drums) + Bob Sheppard (sax/clarinet/flute x 5); Pat Kelley (guitar x 3); Tommy Aros (percussion x 4).
(Review by Lance).
Miki Purnell, Midnight Bloom
Miki Purnell’s second album is an appealing collection of songs loosely related to experiencing the wonders of nature at night which isn’t a bad place to start.
Born and raised in Japan, after dipping her toes into the waters of jazz, Miki became a doctor in Hawaii and her career was professionally put on the backburner albeit whilst still singing after work for the residents of a nursing home. Sounds familiar? Miki wouldn’t be the first doctor to combine the two.
A move to San Diego saw her parallel universe expanding. Not only did she become a member of the second largest integrative medicine team in the United States but also recorded her first CD Swingin’ to the Sea which was so favourably reviewed worldwide that an eventual follow-up was inevitable.
Although the winsome little girl voice suggests shades of Chet Baker and Blossom Dearie – two of her biggest influences – it doesn’t detract from her individuality. In a world where one in every three women are jazz singers (or so it seems) it is refreshing to find that unique person who stands out from the crowd. Miki Purnell does that here with a mix of the familiar, the not so familiar and a couple of her own,

“Being involved in music cultivates my creativity in medicine and in bonding with patients” says Miki.

She’s equally creative in music too. On Embraceable You she applies her vocalese to a 1949 JATP Lester Young solo. Coleman Hawkins inspired her take on Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams whilst an original (co-written with pianist Henderson), Midnight Madness Called Jazz, is based on ‘Round Midnight. Matt Dennis’ The Night We Called it a Day, Stars (Endless Stars) by Fred Hersch and Norma Winstone, plus gems by Johnny Mandel with Dave Frishberg and the Bergmans add to what may well be the classiest vocal album of the year.

And there’s more! Tamir Henderson is the perfect accompanist cum soloist – think Hank Jones and you’re getting close. Bob Sheppard pops up on 5 tracks blowing tenor, clarinet and flute, adding that little bit extra. Pat Kelley does the same with some fine guitar work on four tracks with Tommy Aros helping out Koba and Frank in the rhythm section.

Next time you’re feeling ill and can’t get to Sacramento where Miki now practises just ask your GP to prescribe Midnight Bloom – 14 tracks, minimum twice a day with an extra dose at suppertime – it will work wonders!
Lance

Listen.

Moonlight Saving Time; Embraceable You; No Moon at All; Estrada Branca; ‘Round Midnight/Midnight Madness Called Jazz; Quiet Now; Love Dance; The Night We Called it a Day; Teach me Tonight; You Are There; Solitary Moon; Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams; Stars; Midnight Bloom.

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

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.

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