Lisa Engelken: Little Warrior

Lisa Engelken

Lisa Engelken - Little WarriorLisa Engelken is a fearless, versatile singer as she demonstrates once again on her new release, Little Warrior. Her song selection and interpretations reveal an eclectic artist who’s always pushing the envelope in terms of creativity. On this album Engelken includes heartfelt renditions of songs from composers as diverse as Ric Ocasek “You wear those eyes”, Joni Mitchell “Cold blue steel & sweet fire” and Tom Waits “Blue Valentines”, names not usually associated with jazz.

Even her originals compositions made clear Engelken is not your common jazz singer. Her music is accessible to any ear but still possess a high degree of complexity and substance, and her lyrics are deep and sophisticated. Engelken’ style reflects influences as diverse as the funky groove of “Foggy Bottom”, the Franco Godi/Maurizio Nichetti samba “Viva la Felicitá” (Engelken sings in perfect Italian on this one), the fusion of Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw it Away”, the powerful interpretation of Chick Corea’s “Sea Journey”, and the jazzier track by Herb Brown “All I do is dream of you”.  On this track Engelken shows she can swing with the best of them, and that she is most of all an accomplished jazz singer.

In “Housemate from Hell” and “Little Warrior”, both originals, Engelken displays her take no prisoners, full of risks attitude, playing with the versatility and different colors of her voice, mysterious, mischievous, adventurous, intimate and at times sensual.

Engelken’s lyrics to Wayne Shorter “Undertow” adds to the haunting mood of this Shorter classic, reinforced by the brilliant lines of Erik Jekabson on trumpet. As good as she is in the studio the word out there is that her live performances are even better so, if you have the chance to see her live do not miss the opportunity.

Tracks: Foggy Bottom, Viva la Felicitá, You wear those eyes, Throw it away, Housemate from hell, Little warrior, Untertow, Sea Journey, Cold blue steel & sweet fire, Blue valentines, All I do is dream of you

Musicians: Lisa Engelken – vocals, Bill Cantos – piano, b3 organ, Sam Bevan – bass, Matthew Swindells – bass, Joel Behrman – trumpet, trombone (2,3,4,6,7,8,9), Erik Jekabson – trumpet, flugelhorn – (1,4,5,6,7,9), Mike Olmos – trumpet (3), Evan Francis – flute (2,3,6,9), Robert Roth – tenor sax (1,6,7,9), Matt Heulitt – guitar (1,3), Carlos Oliveira – guitar (2), Rob Reich – accordion (5), Brian Rice – percussion (2,3,6), Dan Feiszli tambourine (1), Christie Winn – backing vocals (2,3), Jennifer Lee, Carey Williams – backing vocals (2).

Label: CD Baby | Release date: October 2013

Website: | Buy music on: amazon

About Lisa Engelken

Part freight train, part junkyard trombone, Engelken alternately locomotes and floats through a myriad of moods & vocal styles, spicing her tunes with Portuguese, French, Spanish and Italian. But her operatic and theatrical training couldn’t polish off the rough edges and she wields her acrobatic three-octave range like a weapon, like a wand, intensified by sheer joy, crankiness and irony. Engelken hails from Big Skies, Kansas and attributes her vocal development to her birth order – the youngest child of 13: sheer power, technique and “Mata Hari vocals” (Village Voice) define Lisa’s voice, trained through perseverance to be heard above the constant din and chaos that surrounded her. Read more…

Wilbert Sostre
Wilbert Sostre
Member of the Jazz Journalist Association since 2010. Member of the Ponce International Jazz Festival Commitee. Studied music and guitar, 1985-86. Music studies at the University of Puerto Rico and the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico, 1986-1990.

More from author

Related posts


Featured Posts

Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums: A Film by Soren Sorensen

Anyone approaching this film about the iconic Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa, by the award-winning filmmaker Soren Sorensen will be almost immediately struck...

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more