Something Good (FreeHam) continues to show the talent of Clamor and what she’s able to do with her voice and the songs she presents to the world. This album shows how developed she has become not only with how she sings, but the arrangements throughout, done with a number of people but Clamor herself had a hand in arranging the title track, along with Abe Lagrimas, Eli Brueggermann, and Gary Wicks. If there’s one thing that holds up about this album, there is a deeper backbone, and not that her music didn’t have it before but Something Good comes off like a strong and balanced album, one with depth and meaning, designed in a fashion that shows how well she does in a jazz context. It’s not a concept album, but rather Something Good is a collection that has a distinct beginning, a carefully executed adventure, and a solid closer, all while Clamor continues to share her love of the music with who she is as a person. Her DNA is a focal point but at this point in her career it’s almost a given, one that is known and casually hangs out in the background but one that is very much a part of who she is. At this point she is able to say that she is Pinay, now let me welcome you to what I enjoy. Of course, if you’re enjoying Clamor and her music by now, then you’ve already found the couch. Kick back and hear something quite good.
When I reviewed an album by Charmaine Clamor a few years ago in my Run-Off Groove column for Music For America, never did I think she would become involved in a project like this, but I’m glad it has.
David Byrne and Norman Cook, known in recent years under the pseudonym Fatboy Slim, have worked on a project called Here Lies Love, which is about the former first lady of the Phillipines, Imelda Marcos. The project features 22 female guest vocalists, including Clamor, who is not only the only Filipina vocalist on the album, but the only jazz artist on the album. Others on the album include Sharon Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Nathalie Merchant, Martha Wainwright, Sia, and Kate Pierson of The B-52s.) The album will be released on February 23rd (slowly becoming one of the more promising release dates in recent memory), although when it does hit stores, Clamor will be taking part at the 2010 Philippines International Jazz Festival, where she’s on a double-bill with Wayne Shorter.
Byrne found out about her when a scout went to one of Clamor’s performances in New York City. Apparently Byrne went to listen to a song online soonafter, and immediately let her know that she would be a part of this project without having to audition. They would both enter a Los Angeles studio to record “Walk Like A Woman”, which will be song 9 on the CD.
Mon David is a jazz/pop vocalist of Filipino heritage, and his first American album has been released through FreeHam Records. Is it good? If you are into jazz-flavored pop or pop flavored jazz, definitely, and as the CD cover indicates, he has his guitar and suitcase ready to go.
Even just by listening you can tell he is a showman. In tracks like “Inivitation”, “Only Once” (the latter a duet with the awesome Charmaine Clamor he shows his passion for not only jazz but for singing, and he never goes over the edge with it either. He is someone who could easily fit in with any style of music, I’m curious to hear what he could be like if he did a bit of country or blues. In other words he sounds like a versatile singer, and I hope he continues on this path to find new avenues.
Also, for fans of solid drumming, pick this CD up to hear the work of Abe Lagrimas. Nuff said.