Founding member of the New York Voices, singer Kim Nazarian finally releases her first solo album, produced by her husband Jay Ashby, who is also featured on trombone throughout. “Some Morning” opens with a lively, swinging “Robbin’s Nest/Boneology” where Jay can be heard prominently and efficiently. As can be Sean Jones on trumpet.
The Linda Ronstadt tune “Tell Him I Said Hello” features a wonderfully lyrical clarinet courtesy of the one and only Paquito D’Rivera and lush brush work by Jamey Haddad who is superb on all of the tracks. Kim manages to convey the story convincingly and with much heart(break). She duets with singer and guitarist John Pizzarelli (who also has a new one out; see review on these pages) on the classic “Gotta Be This Or That” including some cute harmonizations.
Pianists on the album are Mark Soskin and Mark Shilansky, the latter of which wrote the beautiful “All In My Heart”, a poignant love song with great potential and a nice guitar by Jiro Yoshida. This could have come right out of the Christine McVie songbook. Very sweet. The 1923 Irving Berlin standard “What’ll I Do” is done with the deserving drama of a love lost. And the drama is only accelerated by Kim stretching the syllables to express the forlorn situation. The theme of loss continues on the equally moving “Still Life”, written by Kim herself and Jay, and showing her skill to write very intimate and personal songs.
And then there is the title track, an Ivan Lins song with lyrics by Brock Walsh which features Kim’s NY Voices bandmate Peter Eldridge on vocals and very compelling vibes by Gary Burton. It further continues Kim’s stretch of telling slightly dramatic stories, this one though on a happier and more positive note. And Cole Porter‘s “So In Love” has added eroticism by using harp and a guitar solo by Kim’s brother-in-law, Marty Ashby.
Stevie Wonder‘s “If It’s Magic” from his 1976 LP “Songs In The Key Of Life” is done here as a gently swaying shuffle with some moving backing vocals . And things get funny and witty with “Que Sera Sera” which has Ian Ashby, Kim’s and Jay’s son, on vocals, and Kim answering her son’s cautiously asked question with verve and elan and support of a powerful sax and trombone section behind her. The album concludes with another swinger in true big-band style, complete with some strong scatting (still not a fan) and a fat arrangement plus Sean Jones with a grooving, melting, short solo.
PS: Gina is interested in meeting the cat on the cover…