It is still amazing to me that more people outside of Alberta Canada do not know about the luxurious smooth vocals of jazz singer/composer Sandy Foster. Her recent release of Caramelize is a collection of seven original tunes and covers of four others. Foster created new arrangements for Brandt and Haymes’ "That’s All" and Sandy Denny’s "Who Knows Where The Time Goes." The petite blonde singer proves once again that it is only a matter of time before the rest of North America is drinking in her music.
Foster collaborated with Andrew Glover to create a new standard "Blind Fish" which features a fabulous upright bass solo by Glenn Durksen. Flautist Kevin Andrews who also doubles up on the drums blows some sweet notes.
Caramelize was recorded live at Mike’s Place in Edmonton and was not digitally altered. The CD was mastered in Surrey’s Carltone Studio. That being the case I was impressed with just how tight the ensemble sounded. Andrew Glover was on keys, Wes Yaciuk is back on guitar, Tony Chamberlist (percussion), Miles Black is the organist for "Livin’ On Love" and René Worst is the guest bassist on "Where Can You Be."
As Foster coos, "My romance doesn’t need a thing but you," from Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s "My Romance" you have to believe she is singing to or at least holding the image of her husband Kevin in her mind because she is very convincing.
Miles Black’s organ chops give "Livin’ On Love" a strong blues flavor and the change of cadence in Foster’s vocals demonstrates her versatility as a singer.
From the roaring twenties, flapper girls and the Charleston comes Mort Dixon and Ray Henderson’s "Bye, Bye Blackbird", with new arrangements from René Worst. This rendition takes a bit of getting used to as I was expecting the livelier version however once you settle in you will enjoy this beautiful arrangement. Andrew Glover’s nimble chops on the keys clearly lead the way as he gives another fine performance.
You can listen to the full 4:33 of the first track "Still" at Sandy Foster’s myspace site www.myspace.com/SandyFoster. Three complete tracks from other Foster albums can also be heard. Visiting the site however should come with a warning to make sure you have your credit card handy because by the time you listen to this good Canadian jazz vocalist you will want to visit one of the online stores where her music can be purchased.