Birds, birds everywhere. They chirp and sing throughout this atypical and interesting collection of "aviary" tunes offered by bird-lover/vocalist Susan Krebs. The unusual yet titillating collection is called, quite appropriately, Jazz Aviary. "Modern jazz" would be, I suppose,the most identifiable, yet elusive and vague classification here, but there’s something that specifically speaks directly to the artist.
First, let’s examine just who Susan Krebs is. As mentioned, she’s a vocalist with an obvious love for birds. In addition to being a decently traveled vocalist, she’s also a featured actress in the Sandra Bullock film, "28 Days," and most recently in "Million Dollar Baby" with Clint "Dirty Harry"/"Man With No Name" Eastwood. She has extensive experience in musical and cabaret theaters, and most recently, in a contemporary opera called "A String of Pearls" in L.A. and at the famed Carnegie Hall.
The material on Jazz Aviary is light, airy, reflective, and rather pretty, enhanced by Krebs’ very soothing vocals. Granted, the bird chirping does get a bit monotonous to me after a period but not so much so as to want to stop listening to what this artist has to offer.
While the album contains many very pleasant pieces, the track 13 medley of blues (including a really fresh rendition of Bob Marley’s "Three Little Birds") stands out as one at which to truly marvel, as she handles these tunes with her own style, feel, and authority. Her accompaniment is never overly imposing but, as a complement, most complimentary. It tends to lift and propel her vocals to another plane, easily and effortlessly. I’m sure she’s very grateful for this band’s significant contribution.
A very refreshing, quiet piece of good jazz with a heavy focus on our fine feathered friends. Unique and wonderful.