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In a Masterclass of her own,
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This review is from: The Orchard (Audio CD)
Similarities serve only to hint at the genre. This is no Diane Reeves/Tracy Chapman/Cassandra Wilson "imitation" but a fourth take from the same origins. Compare the dark angelic vocal delights that any of the above have delivered to a world awash with safely squared off electro rhythmic trash you will understand the need to set each apart.
The only introduction Lizz requires is to listen itself.
Orchard her third studio release marks a significant departure from the equally respected SALT and DREAMING WIDE AWAKE. The earlier two leant heavily on the masterful if "signature" jazz orchestrations of veteran Tommy LiPuma in favour of Craig Street who favours the closer attentions of an acoustic "band" rather than the entire symphony. ORCHARD tastes the mature fruits of Southern Eastern jazz. Hickory smoke, New Orleans flavour with a hint of hanging Louisiana willow. The tempo captures sunset amidst a scorching summer, beads of sweat glistening as weary feet drag through fields of golden corn.
The "band" is tight enough to make loose and baggy sound exactly like it was intended that way. Street's Production defines clarity, fret twists, hammond slides and brushed snares. Every single note and stroke is yours in it's own space,colour and time.
The songs are melodic often mournful but infinitely memorable. Rankings and favourites I leave to the individual - we will never agree, but try Hey Mann/Another Angel/This is, just for the contrast.
Lizz is in astounding form again, adding emotional depth to the vocal at a level simply vacant among her peers. She'll sing it, you'll believe it, THE END.