Saturday, April 4, 2015

CD Review: The Susan Krebs Chamber Band "Simple Gifts"

"Simple Gifts" is a new CD released this month by The Susan Krebs Chamber Band.  When I received my review copy of this CD, my first thought was "what's Jazz got to do with Chamber music?".  It turns out that Jazz and Chamber music fit perfectly together especially when Susan Krebs is leading the direction of the music.  

Chamber Music is defined as "music composed for small instrumental ensembles and performed with a conductor.  Traditionally intended for performance in a room or reception hall, often solely for the performers' own pleasure."  The Susan Krebs Chamber Band takes the classic Chamber music concept, infuses wonderful modern day musical thinking and performing and suddenly it becomes a new Jazz paradigm.

The songs on this CD have been around for a while, but I would bet that when you listen to them they will feel fresh and brand new.  The selection of supporting instruments is unusual, but the sound that this amazing group of musicians produce is pleasing to the ears!  The idea for "Simple Gifts" came out of music salons hosted by Vocalist Susan Krebs at her home.  Susan calls these salons "ThemeScenes" in which she and a small group of her friends who just happen to be some of the finest Jazz musicians in Southern California get together to explore various motifs through wide-ranging music, poetry and spoken word.

Supporting Susan's wonderful Vocals on this CD are:

Rich Eames, Piano
Rob Lockart, Woodwinds
Scott Breadman, Percussion
Paul Cartwright, Violin/Viola

I can only describe the music on this CD as fresh and beautiful.  Susan Krebs has a glorious voice and the musical performance from Eames, Lockart, Breadman and Cartwright produces sounds that are heavenly!  Paul Cartwright's contribution with Violin and Viola is terrific!

1. "Let's Call A Heart A Heart"
2. "Looking Back"
3. "So Many Stars"
4. "Once Upon A Summertime"
5. "Falling Grace"
6. "Throw It Away"
7.  "For All We Know"
8.  "Simple Gifts"

I am excited to attach a "YouTube" video of The Susan Krebs Chamber Band playing "Let's Call A Heart A Heart".  This tune was originally recorded by Billie Holiday.  Enjoy!

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