****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Kirsten Edkins: Art & Soul

Confession time: On first glance of the album cover, I first thought “ANOTHER singer?!?” Upon closer look I saw a tenor sax sitting next to her. OK, she plays, but it’s probably smooth jazz. How can I be so wrong? As far as I know, this is her first release, and it’s a doozy. She teams up with some of the best  and brightest in Larry Goldings/key, Mike Valero/b, Mark Ferber/dr, as well as producer/reedist Bob Sheppard, Larry Koonse/g, Mike Cottone/tp and Ryan Dragon/tb sitting in for a couple hands of originals.

Her tenor is smoky and warm with Koonse’s boogalooing to the B3 on “Big B” and shows a funky soul on “Mean Greens.” Her soprano saunters on a lazy afternoon of “The Bug” and when she teams up with Sheppard’s bass clarinet on the textured “Good Blood” you get a rich and exotic mood. She’s got more hip than a chiropractor on “Stomping Ground” and slides in between the two brass partners on “No Ordinary Joe” like Lou Brock on the base paths.

She includes in her liner notes a quote from Ps 118 which reads “The Lord is my strength and my song.” Well, the Good Lord gave her both on this album. You’re gonna like it!

She’s coming to Los Angeles on Dec 28-you won’t want to miss it. Check out the listing at The Blue Whale


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