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In My Own Voice by Joani Taylor

Joani Taylor, In My Own Voice, a new recording that blends contemporary jazz with traditional jazz standards and makes it all come off sounding hip, fresh and vibrant. Ms. Taylor is a singer who puts it all out there. No holding back. She can sing it raw, she can phrase with refinement. She powers it over the top, busting down walls with strong emotions that reach out and open your heart. The album is mostly original material with a couple of jazz standards, "Compared To What" and "Take Five," the one with lyrics and in this rendering - given a hip-hop flavour. She is joined by a superb cast of talented musicians, a group with a wonderful synergy. The saxophone of Ross Taggart and the trumpet of Brad Turner are especially pleasing components.

Joani Taylor is a Canadian musician, a vocalist with six albums to her credit. She has been going strong since her debut self titled album released in 1970. Nominated for a National Jazz Award in 2002 for her stirring jazz ballads featured on The Art Of The Jazz Ballad by Joani Taylor & Bob Murphy. She gained Canada wide attention the following year with a Juno nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album The Wall Street Sessions Joani Taylor, Bob Murphy. She is deserving of wider attention and hopefully her latest recording In My Own Voice will bring her world wide recognition.

Joani Taylor is a master at performing jazz ballads, the original composition "The Secret" by Taylor and Sharon Minemoto is in the classic tradition. An emotional journey of vocal heart wrenching that has Joani Taylor swinging in a husky contra-alto voice. Delightful piano care of Bob Murphy carries the melody while the upright bass of co-producer Miles Foxx Hill handles the rhythm with soulful jazz sensibilities. The second track of the album and you’re hooked by this goddess of vocal enchantment. A style that plays tribute to the greats, McRae, O’Day and Jordan are all represented.

"Thank You For Loving Me" is another of the originals, co-written with Bob Murphy and Miles Foxx Hill. The song features Brad Turner on muted trumpet, he plays under the vocalizing of Joani Taylor with passionate lines and stirring phrasing. On his break he burns with sincerity, brilliant lines, intricate runs and soothing tones with a dash of hot spice.

On the ballad "Who’s Gonna Hold Me Now" composed by Joani Taylor and Jimm Taylor, you are presented with a song that lays bare a soul. Possibly the souls of everyone associated with this beautiful song. I believe this has the makings of a classic, a jazz standard for sure. The tenor saxophone of Ross Taggart and the vocals of Joani Taylor, the sensuous and the sultry combined. The sadness that oozes forth with a feeling of raw energy, intensity and deep dark emotion creates powerful imagery.

The upbeat tunes, there are a few, "Take Five" is given a fun makeover with a rap artist paying homage to some jazz greats, a cool rendition. "Compared To What" shows Ms. Taylor’s strong blues roots, she gets down and funky with this tune. On "You Are My Sunshine" Taylor gives a powerful gospel performance, a trio with piano and bass in support. In My Own Voice has Joani Taylor at her best, singing with honesty, beauty and passion, a true delight.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Joani Taylor
  • CD Title: In My Own Voice
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Wet Coast Records
  • Tracks: Just Let Go, The Secret, Take Five, Thank You For Loving Me, Who’s Gonna Hold Me Now, Lucky In Love, Peace Lullaby, Dance With Me, You Are My Sunshine, Photograph, Compared To What, Jim’s Lament, Dance With Me, Just Let Go
  • Musicians: Saxophone - Ross Taggart, Trumpet - Brad Turner, Piano and Hammond B3 organ - Bob Murphy, Guitar - Doug Stephenson, Bass - Miles Foxx, Drums - Buff Allen and Berni Arai, Percussion - Jack Duncan, and Emcee - Jay Kin
  • Rating: Three Stars
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