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Brigitte Zarie: L’amour

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Brigitte Zarie

Brigitte Zarie - L-AmourBeautiful strings arrangements give way to the sensual voice of Brigitte Zarie on “Where there is love”, the first track of her new release L’amour. Once again Zarie recruited the services of Master trumpeter Randy Brecker on the opening track and on the ballad “I just love you”. Zarie discovered on her first album (Make Room For Me), that the lyrical soloing of Mr. Brecker complements perfectly her sophisticated and seductive voice. Besides her stunning tone one of the most impressive things about Ms. Zarie is her superb talent as a songwriter. She wrote all the lyrics except for Jobim “Quiet Nights” and Johnny Cash “Walk the line”. Her style is deeply rooted in the traditions of jazz and the classics songs of the Great American Songbook, yet her songs sounds fresh and relevant for today’s audience.

Another aspect of Zarie’s bag of talents is her command of the French language. Zarie writes and sings perfectly in the language of love, and the second track is called precisely “L’amour” (Love), obviously a romantic song in french but with touches of Bossa Nova. The album also includes an English version of this song.

On “Nobody else”, “Good to be Home” and the jazzy version of Johnny Cash “Walk the line” Zarie demonstrates she is most of all, an outstanding jazz singer. On her relaxed, swinging phrasing she conveys both the present and the past of jazz vocalists. In contrast to “Walk the line”, which have the more intimate sound of a quartet setting (guitar, trumpet, bass and drums), on “Nobody else” and “Good to be home” takes the listener to the era and sound of the Big Bands, reminiscent at times of the Count Basie Kansas City style.

On the beautiful ballads “How can it hurt”, “Don’t forget me” and “I just love you”, Zarie shows her soulful and bluesy side. This is the kind of song that made me comment on her first album, that some of Zarie’s compositions could be part of the Great American Songbook. Zarie has the ability to engage the listener with her seductive phrasing and her tone is haunting and emotional on these slow songs. Her phrasing and feel on “Don’t forget me” and “I just love you”, makes me think that Billie Holiday is an essential part of Zarie’s album collection, Holiday’s influence is definitely there.

Jobim “Quiet Nights” (Corcovado) is one of the only two covers included on the album. Zarie does a excellent version of this Jobim classic, and even sings half of the song in Portuguese.

On the joyful “Celebrate”, Zarie and company takes us once again to the Big Band era with a wonderful swinging groove and sublime horn arrangements. Neil Jason, Zarie’s partner in crime, deserve a special mention for his collaboration on the music and arrangements throughout this excellent follow up to Zarie’s debut album.

Tracks: Where There Is Love, L’amour (French version), Walk The Line, Good To Be Home, I Just Love You, Quiet Nights, Nobody Else, How Can It Hurt, L’amour, Don’t Forget Me, Celebrate, Get Me thru.

Musicians: Brigitte Zarie – vocals, Brian Floody – drums (4,7,11), Sean Pelton – drums (1,2,3,7,8,9,12), Brian McKenna – drums (5,6,10), Peter Zak – piano (5,6,8,10,12), Joe Delia – piano (4,7,11), Rob Mounsey – piano  (1), Lincoln Goines – bass (4,7,11), Conrad Korsch – bass (1,2,3,5,6,8,9,12), Paul Gill –bass (10), John Tropea – guitar (1,2,3,9,11), Larry Saltzman – guitar (6), Jonny Rosch – harmonica/melodic, Gil Goldstein – accordion, Don Harris – trumpet (3,8), Brad Mason, Randy Brecker – trumpet (1,5), Lou Marin – flute, Ken Gioffre, Gary Keller, Frank Besile – Saxs, Bruce Kapler – Sax (1,5), Michael Boscarino, Brian Bonvissuto – trombone, Jesse Levy Ensemble – strings

Label: NJ Music | Release date: December 2013

Website: brigittezarie.com | Buy music on: amazon

About Brigitte Zarie

From the beginning, Brigitte Zarie has been as unforgettable as her music. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, she had the benefit of being raised in a home that thrummed with the rhythms and melodies that shaped her into the artist she would become. With parents originally from Casablanca, Morocco —her father was a multi-instrumentalist while her mother was a singer— she was exposed to the world of jazz at an early age, and developed a love for classic artists like Frank Sinatra and Stan Getz.