For most of you reading this (the fictional audience of this website which doesn’t yet exist), I’m sure this is more a genre introduction as opposed to just another jazz album. It is for me too, so I tried to approach this without any expectations.
First up, Susie who? Well, this woman is a Jazz singer from Canada (yes, they have those there). Anyway, I was given this by my mom, who was subsequently quite disappointed that I didn’t listen to it. I wanted to listen to it, but something came in the middle. But now, I have time to put this up, and I’m glad I did. This is good music.
Don’t expect headbanging riffs, face melting solos and screaming vocals, though. Its jazz singing. And really nice stuff at that. Even for someone as inexperienced with jazz as me, some things are apparent. Susie Arioli has a great quality of singing like she is singing to you, and only you. It’s all very breathy and gentle and is the sort of music that will put you in a good mood no matter what, with its bouncy rhythms, woody guitars and lazy afternoon type singing. Listening to it is like talking to good natured old gentlemen who likes to crack jokes about trouble with his wife back home, while sitting in a cozy little roadside café, drinking chai in a little town where everyone knows everyone. I know I sound like I’m talking crazy, but it really is like that.
The fact that the songs are so short (usually no longer than the average pop video) also helps keep the outside listener (i.e. me) interested. And for once I’m not indignant about how ‘backward’ the bassist is. It’s obviously an upright bass, and I’m not indignant. Arioli is the star here, the band ably supports her. I especially like the sweeps in the percussion and the shakers. It’s also nice to hear the instruments like they are right next to your ears. For instance, I thoroughly enjoyed the sound of picks hitting guitar strings, the thumps of fingers hitting bass strings and the like. I’m reminded for once how utterly overproduced music is these days.
Would I listen to the album again? Not as a whole. It’s not intended that way. I’d rather listen to a few songs in a sitting, if I’m feeling blue. Its sure to improve my mood. As a piece of music as whole, it’s not the greatest album in the world or anything, just another lovely work of music by jazz veterans. This just might be the start of something new for me. This does sound right.