Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Sophie Milman: "In the Moonlight"

For today's review, we're going to be featuring Sophie Milman, and her recently released "In the Moonlight". Born in Russia, however based in Canada, Milman's career has received both national and international praise. As well, Milman was the recipient of a Juno Award in the category of vocal jazz for her 2007 release, "Make Someone Happy". "In the Moonlight" is Milman's fourth studio release, and like her previous records, it presents an artist who is rightfully touted as one of Canada's finest vocalists. The album is made up of songs that contain beautiful orchestral arrangements, as well as songs that feature Milman singing with small jazz ensembles. Milman had the pleasure of recording this album with some world renowned jazz musicians including Randy Brecker on the flugelhorn, and Larry Grenadier on the bass. The first song we're going to note is the arrangement of Meredith Wilson's "Till There Was You". The song features Milman on the vocals, Grenadier on the bass, Gil Goldstein on the accordion (also arranger of the piece), and Julian Lage on the acoustic guitar. The song's arrangement is almost Romani  inspired with Lage's Django Reinhardt style voicings on the acoustic guitar, and Goldstein's beautiful rhythm playing on the accordion. But of course, the star of the song is Milman, who perfectly adapts to the song's unique arrangement with a strong voice, yet wonderfully soft tone. The next song we're going to note is the arrangement of Tom Jobim and Jon Hendricks' "No More Blues". The song features Milman on the vocals, Grenadier on the bass, Gregoire Moret on the harmonica, Gerald Clayton on the piano (also arranger of the piece), and Lewis Nash on the drums. This songs arrangement is Latin inspired, however the song would not have been done justice without Moret, who introduces the tune, and whips out a beautiful solo that just brings a smile to the listener's face. In the end, this was another fantastic release from Milman. She will be performing this spring in both Winnipeg and Toronto so if you live there, definitely get out to see her!

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