A review from Peter Hum
My debut album, Bedroom Voice, got a review from Peter Hum at the Ottawa Citizen. He’s a rare breed: he seems to be the only jazz-focussed reviewer left at any of Canada’s major papers. I appreciate his reviewing style. Being a well-regarded jazz pianist himself, you can tell he listens thoughtfully to the discs that are submitted to him. He’s not afraid to say when he doesn’t care for what he hears. That lends his reviews a lot of credibility, if you ask me.
His review is below. If you want to see the rest of the post (which includes reviews for eight other vocal jazz albums!), click on through here.
Here’s a long overdue run through that considers nine of the many Canadian vocal jazz discs I’ve received in the last year or so, moving from west to east. Among them are two CDs vying for the vocal jazz Juno Award this weekend.
Bedroom Voice (FAWN)
Whitehorse-based Fawn Fritzen is a persuasive vocalist with a sweet, soft voice. (I’ll leave it someone who know her better whether her singing supports her disc’s saucy title.)
The music on her CD Bedroom Voice tends to the light, gentle and slow side of things and on some tracks — in particular Fritzen’s earnest originals Life So Sweet, I’m A Fool For You, Under My Skin, and Sad Song, and the Leonard Cohen cover If It Be Your Will— there’s more of a pop or roots music feeling than a strong jazz vibe.
Here’s a live and slightly brassier version of Life So Sweet, which opens Fritzen’s disc:
Fritzen applies herself well to jazz materials such as Cry Me A River (a pleasant, straightforward duet with guitarist Paul Lucas), You Don’t Know What Love Is and the bossa Gentle Rain. She may not be a belter, but she has a way to sing the blues too on Black Coffee. On Tout doucement, Fritzen’s French is more than up to scratch.
There’s a nice range of arranging moves on the CD so that each track, however mellow, has some distinctiveness. However, instrumentally, I’d wish to hear more depth, swing and stretching out.