Like a revivifying breath of spring comes a twelve-song set of freshly-arranged standards given a Brazilian jazz veneer and elaborately-orchestrated originals from vocalist Anne Walsh (www.AnneWalsh.com) entitled “Brand New.” Singing rapturous tales of romance, renewal and rebirth along with stunning meditations on the beauty and magnificence of nature, the collection produced and arranged by Walsh and GRAMMY®-nominated pianist-arranger Tom Zink was released in conjunction with the arrival of spring. Its fragrant bloom is presently brightening two radio formats and receiving ravishing reviews.
Pay particular attention to how Walsh’s classically-trained soprano soars divinely throughout the session on which she and Zink take apart and tinker with classic contemporary compositions by John Lennon & Paul McCartney (“Here, There and Everywhere”), Burt Bacharach & Hal David (“I Say A Little Prayer”), Alan & Marilyn Bergman and Michel Legrand (“Windmills Of Your Mind”) and Sergio Mendes & Lani Hall (“Salt Sea”). Or how the songbird turns lyrist to write lyrics for an instrumental favorite – in this case “Amazon River” by Brazilian jazz icon Dori Caymmi - thus continuing a trend that she started on her “Pretty World” disc in 2009. Or the ease and grace in which she sings enchantingly in Portuguese on “Coisas Do Amor,” an original duet written for the project by bassist-vocalist Ebinho Cardoso. In addition to a vibrant version of “To Sir With Love” and a dramatic “Nature Boy” on which Walsh’s accompaniment is stark, a pair of Walsh-Zink originals – the meticulously-arranged Brazilian rhythms of the title track and the retro groove “Batuque (The Beat)” - are also noteworthy.
On “Brand New,” Walsh and Zink recruited first-call players - Brian Bromberg, Chris Wabich, Gary Meek, Gannin Arnold, Tiki Pasillas and Cardoso – to form the core ensemble thus the musicianship sparkles. Full string, horn and woodwind sections illuminate the more ornate tracks while others are just as powerfully realized as piano and voice etchings.
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