What Am I Here For?
'Susan Krebs, a talented singer with wit and energy, who deserves much greater recognition.' (L.A.Times ) Following the 1999 release of her well-received album, 'JAZZ GARDENER' on Sea Breeze Records, 'WHAT AM I HERE FOR?' is the new project from Los Angeles jazz vocalist, SUSAN KREBS and her group of superb L.A. based musicians, including the sublime world-class saxophone player, GARY FOSTER. Co-produced by Krebs and drummer/vibist Jerry Kalaf, this CD offers modern and elegant arrangements of some well-known standards as well as a few more obscure and seldom recorded tunes. Also included is an original blues, 'YOU BOTHER ME', with Lyrics by Krebs and Music by the extraordinary trumpet player/composer, CARL SAUNDERS and the exciting pianist/composer RICH EAMES, whose delightful arrangement is reminiscent of vintage George Shearing. Suze is a swinging and deeply expressive vocalist, with a warm and resonant sound, choosing songs with wit and meaning. She is also a seasoned professional actor, performing in film, television and theater, which serves her well in the telling of her tale through song. Here's what some REVIEWERS and RADIO Program Directors are saying: The Susan Krebs Group - 'What Am I Here For?' (GreenGig Music) 'Vocalist Susan Krebs, (aka 'the Jazz Gardener') has come to market with another enjoyable CD. It features 11 tracks of songs, eclectic and carefully selected. They range from a timely 'Peace' (Horace Silver) to 'Nature Boy', 'Good Morning Heartache', 'A Sleepin' Bee', 'You Bother Me' and a standout 'Ten Minutes Ago' (Rodgers & Hammerstein). - An actress as well, the charismatic Krebs knows how to apply the right touch for the mood of each song, and does an excellent job of presenting her selections here. As always, she surrounds herself with L.A.'s top musicians. In this case, pianist Rich Eames, alto saxophonist-flutist Gary Foster, bassist Luther Hughes, who alternates on some tracks with Ken Wild. Mike Clinco, guitar, Scott Breadman, percussion, and last, but certainly not least, drummer-vibist Jerry Kalaf. Recommended (LA Jazz Scene ) 'Thanks so much! Your new CD, 'What Am I Here For?', is wonderful, and will certainly get good airplay here! You should be getting better recognition in the jazz world!' (Program Director/North Country Public Radio/N.Y.) 'This is a mix of great instrumental jazz with the mellow vocals of Susan Krebs ... this is a balanced set that we found ourselves listening to time and time again.' (Oscar Groomes/O's Place Jazz Newsletter) It's an excellent album. I plan to eventually air every track on it. I like the tunes you chose, some familiar to me and others new discoveries for me. And the instrumentalists on the album are top-notch.... I hope you're getting some good airplay because the album deserves it. (Program Dir./KAWC/Yuma) Suze: I really love your record. Between what I am sent and what I buy, I hear some bad things, many decent things, and some exceptional records. Yours is definitely in the later category. It's outstanding. I mean it. (Jack Frieden//Vocal Sounds of Jazz) ' This is Krebs', the self-proclaimed 'Jazz Gardener's' second recording. As before, 'The Swinging Druids' provide the instrumental accompaniment. An inspection of the cover art, as well as the liner notes, indicate that Krebs is on a quest for spirituality and expresses her search through her music (for example, the lyrics for 'What Am I Here For?' take on a deeper meaning.) While the majority of these have been sung many, many times, Krebs manages to add her own style, particularly encouraged by the collaborative nature of the entire project. While not necessarily seeking to reinvent the wheel, these performances are meaningful. Krebs' style suggests the influence of singers like Sheila Jordan, with a behind the beat approach that creates a sense of drama. As she has her way with each lyric, her slippery phrasing (check out 'Out Of This World') creates an engaging, rather than distracting, presence. Further, there is a deep soulful emotionalism and Blues inflection that suits her alto range quite well. For example, Krebs is at her most distinctive on passionate, melancholy tracks like 'Nature Boy' and 'Good Morning Heartache'. She also demonstrates her keen handling of lyrics on tracks like the ubiquitous 'The Way You Look Tonight'. Another key to the success of this album is the quality of musicianship throughout. They support Krebs at every turn, adding important contributions but never outshining her presence. Saxophonist Gary Foster's satiny, Getz-inspired mellow tenor ('What Am I Here For?' and 'The Way You Look Tonight') is particularly noteworthy, while pianist Eames contributes several tuneful solos, particularly on the Latinized 'Water Under The Bridge'... 'What Am I Here For?' is a consistent program with quality performances by all involved.' (Jay Collins/ Cadence/July '03) 'Categorizing Krebs' voice is not easy - it is filled with emotion ranging from a deep, throaty hue to a girlish, higher-pitched tone. After she delivers a song, Krebs leaves nothing on the table...' (AMG Expert Review) 'For singer-actress Susan Krebs and her quartet of fine musicians, their goal has been simple: to be all-out entertaining whenever and wherever their gigs take them... The personable and comely Ms. Krebs not only selects a repertoire of attractive songs, but involves herself, sometimes intensely, in the story-telling lyrics... The Susan Krebs Quartet is a reminder of how fortunate Southern Californian jazz fans are to have such a superabundance of great musicians performing in our venues here.' (L.A. Jazz Scene)
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