The sublime nature of this vocal expedition undertaken by Tamuz Nissim has been quite expertly captured not only by its ethereal title – Capturing Clouds – but also as she gives you a measure of what’s to come in the short prelude to the album. And you never quite get to Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields’ version of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” you do catch a glimpse of the fluttering, sensitive lyrical voice of Miss Nissim as she traipses into the next selection. And not a moment too soon for Miss Nissim jumps right into “Make it Last” putting the bright timbre of her lissom voice on full display from then on.
The record is a judicious mix of familiar tunes and originals including a breathtaking interpretation of “I Hear a Rhapsody” into which Miss Nissim has written spectacularly imaginative choruses the long inventions of which she sings in vocalese. The song is an homage to John Coltrane and what he has done to music with such songs as “Giant Steps” and My Favourite Things”. Miss Nissim’s “Rhapsody for Trane” is far and away the most spectacular tributes that any singing musician could have paid to the great musician. Its monumental vocal leaps and breathy rushes notes tumble in parabolic cascades as Miss Nissim seems to have unbridled fun with her glorious instrument. It is easily the crowning glory of what is clearly the finest album she has recorded in her young career.
However, invention and innovation are not the only strong suits of this prodigiously gifted musician. Miss Nissim is a wonderful writer as well and the original compositions are an indication of just how good she is. Both “Make it Last” and “Capturing Clouds” show that she has reached a level of maturity that has eluded many songwriters of her generation. Those songs, together with “What a Pair” and – especially “Listen” tell us that she has a complete understanding of her own lustrous instrument. Best of all, however, she doesn’t only write to her strengths, but rather seems to have no hesitation in pushing herself to the limits by writing material that leaps and gambols all over the staved paper, which she then proceeds to bring to life by making the black dots themselves leap off the page.
Miss Nissim is joined here by the outstandingly sympathetic Harvie S, a great virtuoso bassist in his own right and one of the greatest ever accompanists of vocalists. Also along for the ride is drummer Tony Jefferson, who plays with extreme subtlety while yet managing to make a joyful rhythmic noise and is quite spectacular on “Like Someone in Love”. As always George Nazos in also on this date and he plays everywhere with melodicism and with uncommon harmonic ingenuity. The whole album is riveting. But I suspect that you’ll want to listen much more than once to Miss Nissim as she mesmerises you with “Rhapsody for Trane”, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” and “Here Comes the Sun”.
Track list – 1: On the Sunny Side of the Street; 2: Make It Last; 3: Capturing Clouds; 4: I Don’t Wanna Grow Up; 5: Ray of Hope; 6: Like Someone in Love; 7: Saturday Sun; 8: What a Pair; 9: Listen; 10: Rhapsody for Trane (I Hear a Rhapsody); 11: Here Comes the Sun
Personnel – Tamuz Nissim: vocals; George Nazos: guitar; Harvie S: bass; Tony Jefferson: drums
Released – 2019
Label – Street of Stars Records
Runtime – 43:35