Karla Harris: Sings the Dave & Iola Brubeck Songbook
This is a work of sheer elegance and distinction, which features a wide range of moods from the tender to the playful. What stands out are the freshness and vigour of its rhythmic shapes and the richness of its imitative interweaving. Karla Harris’s vocalastics in honour of Dave and Iola Brubeck are beautiful gems, memorable for their astounding harmonic twists, which are clearly relished with the ensemble. There are some obviously notable differences between Dan Brubeck to his father and mother. However Ms. Harris’ passionate tribute is absolutely marvelous.
The quality of the singing here is altogether exceptional. Karla Harris takes nothing for granted in this music. Nor should we in listening to her. If you know how Dave Brubeck “goes” then this recording is almost certainly not for you. Not that Ms. Harris does anything wildly idiosyncratic let alone provocatively iconoclastic, yet throughout the music her you feel that you are dancing with genius. Ms. Harris is inspired and understands that every interpretation is just one possibility, and she offers us an enticing opportunity to open our minds.
Karla Harris takes the Brubeck music to another level. Here the music is full of glinting lights. In sheer colour and variety, in the depth of its characterisation this music reaches impressive heights in its exceptional range and the refinement of its vocalastics. The profoundly beautiful “In Your Own Sweet Way” is a personal favourite. And the variety and stylishness of the rest of the programming this tribute contains exceptional performances from all of the musicians throughout the programme. The ravishing beauty of the vocals is matched by extraordinary turns by the instrumentalists: pianist Ted Howe, bassist Tom Kennedy, drummer Dave Weckl, alto saxophonist Bob Shepherd and a wonderful percussionist, J. Cricket. All in all, a world of vocalastics is evoked as few could even hope to try.
Track List:Take Five; The Duke; Easy As You Go; Far More Blue; In Your Own Sweet Way; There’ll Be No Tomorrow; My One Bad Habit; Summer Song; Strange Meadowlark; Weep No More; Trav’lin Blues
Personnel: Karla Thomas: vocals; Ted Howe: piano and keyboards; Tom Kennedy: acoustic and electric basses; Dave Weckl: drums; Bob Sheppard: alto saxophone; J. Cricket: percussion
Label: Summit Records
Release date: April 2015
Buy music on: amazon
About Karla Harris
With a style and range that runs from velvety vulnerability to soul-tinged power, singer Karla Harris is known for jazz vocals that bring honeyed nuance, sophisticated warmth and dynamic delivery to the songs she sings. She weaves her influences of jazz, the standards, swing, blues and soul, as well as an affinity for Latin jazz, into a multi-textured musical tapestry, blending boundaries while remaining respectful to the roots of each tune. Her art lies not only in expansive vocals but also in a knack for tapping into the emotion of a song and delivering it fully. Read more…