With a foot in tradition, a hand stretched toward the future and a clear sense of statement, Kayle Brecher is at once completely distinctive and an amalgamation of her great musical influences. Start with hints of Morgana King and Sheila Jordan, add equal parts Ella and Sarah; stir briskly with vision, intelligence, passion, authenticity and a good sense of self; add a healthy dose of irony and humor; wrap in a supple instrument; blend perfectly into the fabric of each cleverly crafted arrangement and cook to perfection via the hand picked ensembles on this recording. Not your usual vocal fare. 'Spy Music', jazz singer/composer Kayle Brecher's newest release is bold, playful and powerful eclectic jazz, featuring many of Philadelphia's finest musicians. This recording is an enticing journey through a variety of moods, textures and settings, mainstream and beyond, once again proving that this is a singer whose voice and arrangements transcend boundaries. 'The remarkable Kayle Brecher ranks among Philadelphia's finest jazz singers; nay, among the best the East has to offer. Over the past decade she has distinguished herself as a fearless interpreter of song, a subtle stylist with an instrumentalist's creativity. In an era where the experimental artistry of singers like Lisa Sokolov confuses as many listeners as it enchants, Brecher's latest proves that serious creativity can still be the jazz singer's best asset. Kayle Brecher is, simply put, one of the most phenomenal voices in the realm of modern creative jazz. On Spy Music she is cast in her most impressive setting thus far. Highly recommended. ' --Todd S. Jenkins, All About Jazz Known for her unusual and inventive settings, Brecher continues to explore on this, her fourth, CD. 'So Complicated' is a surprising mix of a slightly outside sax quartet with intricately woven vocals. 'Teardrops for Jimmy', which flows dreamily in and out of rubatos, tempos and feels, is a premiere vocal ballad gem arranged by Kayle and written by Dave Burrell and Monika Larsson as a tribute to bassist Jimmy Garrison. The tune 'Spy Music' is performed with a quintet that features Kaylé and two gifted funk guitarists, Jef Lee Johnson and Ron Jennings, with Chico Huff (bass) and Eric Johnson (drums) on two takes of unpredictable improvisation, both of which are included on this recording. 'Cool' is an eye opening, hard swinging, dissonant and yet playful, unique version of the West Side Story tune. Then there is 'Under Paris Skies', a musical feast that utilizes South American, African and European rhythms melded together, highlighting percussionist Edgardo Cintron, Todd Groves' piccolo, and an incredibly passionate solo by guitarist Frank Butrey. 'Autumn Leaves', as you've never heard it before, is presented by a trio consisting of Kayle's vocals, piano (David Dzubinski) and percussion (Edgardo Cintron). 'Power and the Glory' is folk legend Phil Ochs' unsentimental and poignant tribute to America in a setting of voice and drums with piccolo weaving in and out; a swinging, heartfelt and picturesque march. 'My World is Empty Without You' (in a medley with 'When You Were in My World') is not your momma's Diana Ross. It's reharmonized setting, stark and dramatic, is naked voice supported only by bari saxophonist Bill Zaccagni's strong swing, and enhanced sparingly with occasional drums. Pure straight ahead swing is also represented here by the highly spirited 'This Can't Be Love' and 'Old Coat' as well as Brecher's original 'Glad Bag', all three freshly done with mainstream ensemble combinations. This vibrant new CD is full of original ideas, variety and experimentation. Featured along with Kayle's vocals are Jef Lee Johnson, Ron Jennings, Frank Butrey, guitars; Ben Schachter, tenor sax; Ron Kerber, soprano sax; Tony Salicandro, alto sax; Bill Zaccagni, baritone sax; Todd Groves, piccolo; David Dzubinski, piano; Chico Huff, Paul Klinefelter, bass; Grant MacAvoy, Eric Johnson, Tony Deangelis, drums; and Edgardo Cintron, percussion. Not your usual vocal fare! Unique jazz vocalist, composer, and arranger, Kayle Brecher (Kay-La BrecKer) possesses a versatile and flexible instrument which can move from silky, smooth and subtle to bold and bluesy; refined to brash and raw. Kayle's instrumental approach to singing leads to explorations of mood, texture and style in each individual tune, which results in exciting variety. Imaginative, versatile and eclectic, Kayle has performed in settings ranging from traditional jazz through bop, free jazz and experimental music. She is a native New Yorker and began her career as a very young teen, singing blues and standards in the clubs of Greenwich Village. Her varied and active career has included concerts, festivals, live radio performances, a TV documentary soundtrack, clubs and other fine venues, studio production work and five recordings. She has opened for Maynard Ferguson, Freddie Hubbard, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Doc Severinsen, and has shared the stage with Mel Lewis, Red Rodney and others. A skilled arranger and composer, Kayle is more than a singer: she is a complete musical package. Combining an impressive command of her expressive instrument with artful writing she enchants the listener with vivid subtlety, masterful phrasing and sophisticated lyrics. As well as having been a long time member of the BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop in New York City, Kayle has studied composition and arranging privately with both Jim McNeely and Michael Abene, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Temple University. Three of her original compositions and two of her versions of Freddie Hubbard tunes have been published by Freddie Hubbard's publishing company Hubtones and two of her versions of Herbie Hancock tunes have been published by Hancock Music. Her compositional skills have also garnered several awards in the jazz category of the Billboard Song Contest, including one major prize. Kayle says of her approach to writing and singing: 'Each piece is like a movie or vignette in which one is totally immersed; story, emotion, mood and intention brought alive by settings carefully chosen to enhance the ambiance while encouraging improvisation in each performance.' 'In performance, I feel melodic content as an intricate dance of shapes and colors entwining and flowing with or rubbing against harmonic and rhythmic partners.' Originally from the Bronx, Kayle is now based in the Philadelphia area. Her regional work has included performances at many well known area venues, such as Zanzibar Blue, Chris' Jazz Cafe, The Painted Bride Art Center as well as festivals and a live radio broadcast on WRTI FM of one of her performances at the old Blue Moon Jazz Cafe. A Sampling of What People Are Saying: 'Kayle Brecher's singing has a contemporary soul that satisfies the music connoisseur. Her arrangements and compositions are loaded with passion and clarity.' ----Dave Burrell, jazz pianist and composer '..the vivacious Ms.Brecher injects bold new spirit into familiar material and conjures up exciting, original surprises. She is a master at finding hidden potential in songs..' ----Todd S.Jenkins, AllAboutJazz.com 'Among contemporary vocalists, Kayle Brecher ranks in the top echelon...she sees her vocals in a complete context - sees them better than almost all vocalists, past and present.' ----Harvey Pekar, freelance writer and contributor to Downbeat and Jazziz 'Kayle Brecher's songs possess universal appeal. They are both a reflection of the times and the way she feels about them. Her talent as both a singer and a songwriter comes through in a unique voice.' ----Freddie Hubbard, jazz artist and composer 'Kayle Brecher is a marvelous singer with a distinctive approach and unique gift for composition.' ----Mark Gridley, author of Jazz Styles, Prentice-Hall, Inc. '...an imaginative, mainstream improviser with a supple voice that suggests the pairing of Sheila Jordan and Sarah Vaughan.' ----Al Lubiejewski, Showcase Magazine 'A beautiful singer.' ----Sheila Jordan, jazz artist and composer '..an artist who possesses not only a solid musical foundation, but a powerful & unique voice.' ----Music Director Laurent (Radio 16, Besseges, France) 'Like great jazz vocalists Betty Carter and the late great Billie Holiday, Brecher is a thoroughly engaging presence. Even when she reins things in, she is able to build momentum with her humor, wit and grace. A gifted writer and arranger, Brecher keeps the songs moving without losing the interesting improvisational turns.' ----Jeff Hall, Courier-Post 'Kayle is a stylist in every sense of the word, giving each selection a deeply personal rendering.' ----Jazz News 'Sweet...Sassy...Intelligent' ----Bob Francesconi, Showcase Magazine.
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