Poetry of Love
, the newest release by Kansas City based singer Angela Hagenbach is a collection of ten songs with a range of emotion that will delight the ear of the listener. The music has a strong Latin presence, and additionally, Hagenbach’s heartfelt interpretations on ballads and her easy going affable approach on straight ahead swingers, make Poetry of Love
an incredible joy to the ear. The tunes Hagenbach chose for Poetry of Love
include standards drawn from the Great American Songbook. Hagenbach also penned three originals. Guest performances by Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Russell Malone, and James Williams contribute to making this recording an all around good time.
This listener was hooked by the first tune, a reworking of Michael Franks’ "Tell Me All About It." The easy swinging "I Can’t Believe You’re In Love With Me," featuring a solo by guitarist Russell Malone, and Hagenbach’s original "Bittersweet" that followed, were enough to be convincing this was going to be a great listening experience. The beautiful ballad, "Never Let Me Go," with James Williams on piano and Jimmy Heath on tenor saxophone playing behind Hagenbach’s vocals, another original "Dark Dreams," and the fun "duet" with mumbling Clark Terry on "Blues Are Brewin" were further evidence Hagenbach has produced a great recording. The CD concludes with the standard "I’ve Got You Under My Skin," another original "You Keep Calling Me," and an interesting swinging treatment applied to Michel Legrand’s "Watch What Happens." On "Watch What Happens," Hagenbach also demonstrates for the first time on the CD, her swinging scat singing, something that she should include more frequently on future projects. The Coda to Poetry of Love
is a version of the Rogers/Hammerstein standard "It Might As Well Be Spring" given the percussive treatment of a Brazilian escola d’samba performing at Carnaval. It is a rhythmically exciting conclusion to the recording.
Jazz aficionados certainly are aware of the connection between Kansas City and great jazz musicians. There also has been no shortage of great singers such as Big Joe Turner and Jimmy Rushing associated with Kansas City. Kansas City is also the home of one of this listener’s favorite jazz vocalists Karrin Allyson. With Poetry of Love
, Angela Hagenbach continues a tradition of great Midwestern jazz and adds another name to this listener’s list of favorite singers. Poetry of Love
would be a delight for any listener, and it comes with a strong recommendation to make it an addition to anyone’s jazz CD collection.