Taeko has returned with a brand new album called Voice (Flat Nine). Last time when I heard her, I felt that the kind of power and strength I had hoped to hear in specific songs weren’t there, and stated that I’d like to hear things tuned up a bit. After listening to her new album, one song after the other, perhaps she or someone with her had read my review, for this is now someone who will make people stand up after each song demanding more. This is a really good album, nicely produced and arranged, featuring the kind of thrills one would expect and demand from a vocal jazz album.
It could be due to the selection of songs, such as Herbie Hancock‘s “Cantaloupe Island (Get Up)”, Marvin Gaye‘s “Inner City Blues”, or Sly & The Family Stone‘s “Stand!”, the latter of which I was really surprised to hear in an arrangement quite different from the original. Taeko is subtle in all the right places, and passionate in others, she knows how to feel and grab a hold of the emotions at the right time, it’s not just singing into the darkness and holding onto whatever she can touch.
(Voice will be released on June 1st.)