THE JAZZ CHAMBER…The Susan Krebs Chamber Band: Simple Gifts, Chris McNulty: Eternal

The convergence of small group jazz with the harmonies and mood of classical chamber music is a sonic temptation, with both genres either cooperating or wrestling with each other. Here are two successes.

Vocalist Susan Krebs brings together Rich Eames/p, Rob Lockart/woodwinds, Scott Breadman/perc and Paul Cartwright/v-vla to interprete some jazz standards. She bops with Lockarts bass clarinet on”Let’s Call A Heart a Heart, while his tenor and her voice team up with the strings to creat a parlor atmosphere on “Looking Back” and “Once Upon A Summertime.” The themes get shadowy on with Eastern European strings influencing “Throw It Away”  while Krebs’ old soul voice works well with the soprano sax and bossa nova groove on “So Many Stars.” This chamber is made for swinging!

Chris McNulty joins up with a chamber orchestra conducted by Steve Newcomb and the jazz trio of John Di Martino/p, Ugonna Okegwo/b and Gregory Hutchinson/dr. The team bops well on “On a Clear Day” w hile a chiming piano works well on “ With Every Breath I Take.” Warm reeds create a warm blanket on “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing” and a dreamy “Stardust” while the rhythm team gets its most assertive on “Nature Boy.” A gentle balm is felt throughout this set that oozes with understated sophistication.

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