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Sun 13: Vieux Carré Hot Four @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay (12 noon).

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

CD Review: Suzi Stern - Romancing The Dark

Suzi Stern (voice, percussion); George Oldziey (piano, accordion, percussion);  Paul Unger (acoustic bass); James Anderson (violin); Steve Schwelling(drums, percussion) Also various musicians on cello, violin, viola, trumpet, clarinet, trombone, guitar, acoustic bass, drums.
(Review by Ann Alex)
Suzi Stern has released 7 jazz CDs previously, but for her latest release, Romancing The Dark, she has stepped outside of the jazz idiom, and come up with an album of her own original compositions and arrangements.  I’m afraid to say that this CD didn't quite cut the mustard for me.  The voice is sweet, with competent singing and good work from the musicians, but the songs mostly don’t catch the listener’s attention.  Perhaps more hooks are needed for full enjoyment of the lyrics, which are closer to a wandering poetic style rather than the sharper, catchier words which go well in songs.
I did however quite like the tracks Haunted Heart (a neat bit of jazz type singing with an effective violin solo) and Sleepwalking Girl (a jazzy piano, with cymbals and bass) but my attention wandered a bit during the other tracks.  I’d have liked to see a photograph of the musicians on the CD cover, as they have done quite a good job on the album.  For instance, Sounds Are Louder In The Dark has the musicians producing a choppy, tricky rhythm with a creepy sound which wouldn’t be out of place in a vampire film. And Tango For Tina includes a pleasing gypsy violin.  There would have been space for more photographs as all the lyrics of the songs are given, so the CD insert consists of quite a few pages.  I’d be interested to hear some of Ms Stern’s earlier jazz albums, for comparison with this one.
The CD is released on the Bus Biscuit Records label on September 24th 2013.
Ann Alex.

3 comments :

Suzi Stern said...

Thanks for taking the time to listen to the entire project Ann. Send me your address and I'll send you my jazz CD's which you may enjoy more.
suzistern@austin.rr.com

Suzi Stern said...

I'm not certain this made it to you so I'll post again: Thanks for taking the time to listen to the entire project Ann. Send me your address and I'll send you my jazz CD's which you may enjoy more.
suzistern@austin.rr.com

Lance said...

I've passed your message on to Ann - she'll be in touch.

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