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November 25, 2005

Canadian Jazz Vocal CD Release

Written by
cindy mcleod

CD Review / jazz vocal
Charlotte Jackson / What Dreams Are Made Of
Independent Release/2005

Vocalist Charlotte Jackson hits the market November 2005 with her debut recording What Dreams Are Made Of, a collection of standards from the pens of greats Harold Arlen, Cole Porter and Johnny Mercer among the eleven classics.

Ms. Jackson delivers a sparse, sincere vocal that is relaxed and assured, focusing on the message of the lyric and the strength of the melody. Her voice possesses enchanting warmth and a rich textural quality that is reminiscent of Anita O’ Day, drawing the listener into a gentle musical embrace. It’s clear she has a strong connection to the songs she’s chosen for this recording as she conveys them with passion and conviction.

Jackson takes a refreshingly honest approach to her interpretations; demonstrating respect for the composer’s works and allowing these great songs room to breathe. She has assembled a fine group of Alberta artists for her expression, with jazz pianist Brian Buchanan, guitarist/producer/arranger Dan Martin, bassist Richard Erickson, and drummer Gavin Sorochan offering empathetic support.

Performances of note include Martin’s sensual guitar track on Speak Low (Nash/Weill), suspending Jackson’s soulful performance on this lovely bossa feel. Nat Adderly’s Old Country kicks off with a creative scat intro and sits nicely in a medium swing tempo, with Buchanan’s piano placing this tune firmly in the jazz pocket. I’m All Smiles (Leonard/Martin) features drummer Sorochan on a solo intro in a New Orleans second line fashion, segueing into a hard swing feel that is a great vehicle for Jackson’s clean vocal line. Buchanan opens Crazy He Calls Me (Sigman) with a lush rubato piano solo then moves into a spacious ballad for the emotive vocal. Bassist Erickson provides a solid performance throughout, with the interplay between he and drummer Sorochan creating a dynamic swinging rhythm section.

The whole sits firmly within the mainstream jazz environment, and is a simply stated but wholly developed jazz sound that is bound to gain a lot of airplay in its accessibility. With her debut of What Dreams are Made Of Charlotte Jackson brings a welcomed addition to any jazz lovers collection.

Cindy McLeod
Jazz Elements

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