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Track List: listen
Noneday - 6:00
I'm In A Mood For Love - 5:39
No Moonlight - 4:14
Sometimes I Think - 3:42
Whisper Not - 6:11
Daydream - 5:58
If I Should Lose You - 4:43
Home - 6:03
Photograph - 4:09
Carolyn Leonhart - vocals
Wayne Escoffery - tenor sax
Rick Germanson - piano
Hans Glawischnig - bass
Donald Edwards - drums
Jason Brown - drums
Five years in the making, New 8th Day features Leonhart on vocals along with her working band of husband Wayne Escoffery on saxophone, pianist Rick Germanson, bassist Hans Glawischnig, and drummers Donald Edwards and Jason Brown.
The honed chemistry of the band is readily apparent throughout. The album opens with the moody pop ballad “Noneday” – Leonhart embues this original with plenty of breathing room as she sensually embellishes it with bits of blues and soul. Written in Switzerland as she waiting to go home after the 9/11 attacks, “No Moonlight” has an understandably sad sentiment about it, but like so many classic sad songs, it offers uplifting sense of comfort by the time it’s over. “Home” is the final Leonhart original. Whereas “Noneday” is filled with open space, “Home” is opens with a dense, swirling intro and long drawn out notes from singer. She adds rich context throughout as she purrs, pushes and pulls at the words.
All great singers are storytellers, and Leonhart has chosen several classic stories for the new album as well. “I’m in the Mood for Love” and “Moonriver” are standards we’ve all heard countless times, often done by lesser singers. Leonhart takes these songs off life support with imaginative arrangements that push off from the edges to offer fresh perspective.
“Whisper Not” is the hardest hitting song on the album with Escoffery driving the tune with a sizzling tenor solo. Escoffery actually came up with arrangement, setting the tune to a jaunty 7/8 time that makes the song playfully skip along even if the lyrics are bittersweet.
Leonhart also chooses to include a song of her father’s (noted bassist Jay Leonhart) here. Recording it just as she performs it live, only accompanied by Glawischnig, Leonhart carries the melody and tells the story while the bassist provides rhythm and a tasteful solo.
“These are a collection of songs I’ve written or rediscovered, based on their lyrics.” Leonhart says of her choices on New 8th Day. New tunes or old favorites, the singer and her band put their stamp on them. Wholly modern acoustic jazz with elements of pop, blues, folk and soul, this new album features the singer front and center in a collection of songs instantly appealing without catering to the lowest common denominator. The next step in this gifted singer’s career, New 8th Day is strong argument for making 2005 biggest year for Carolyn Leonhart so far.
In a world full of cookie-cutter jazz vocalists and instant vanity CDs (just add water), it's rare to hear a singer who has both chops and discernible style. Carolyn Leonhart is one of the few: it's a pleasure to hear the intelligence and nuance in her delivery, and she also swings her posterior off. Add to all this an unusually interesting set of tunes and a sterling quartet, and you have a release that's a cut above most of what's out there today.
New 8th Day is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, a breath of fresh air in a cluttered field of sound-alikes.
Dr. Judith Schlesinger, All About jazz
This is a perfect mix of original songs, jazz standards, and Carolyn’s own arrangements of jazz standards. “Noneday” leads off the release, and is one of Carolyn’s originals with a classic jazz tempo featuring Wayne Escoffery on tenor saxophone. Other originals include: “No Moonlight”, and “Home.” Carolyn’s arrangements include “Sometimes I Think” which was written by her father Jay Leonhart, “Daydream”, “Photograph” and “Moonriver”. I especially loved her cover of the Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington song “Daydream”, which features Wayne Escoffery.
New 8th Day reminds the jazz world how great a talent Carolyn is.
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