Midnight Jazz

‘Charmed’ brings new life to torch songs | February 21, 2008

 

Reviewed by Michael Sutton

Torch/Charmed

Valentine’s Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean you still won’t be Charmed by Torch. Showing no fear – and remarkable confidence – in performing jazz standards with new original material of their own, Torch display class, good taste, and overall stellar musicianship. It all begins at the top with vocalist Seela Misra, whose late-night crooning is as sensual as it is soothing, especially on “Just Say the Word,” probably one of the most romantic and fetching numbers on here, and the instantly lovable “Alone Together.”

However, it’s not just about the slow-dance picks. “Is It Enough” and “My Baby Just Cares for Me” are driven by Misra’s animated performances. They serve as an example of how a strong vocalist, one with a vivacious personality, can elevate songs to another level. Experience, too, is key; this doesn’t sound like the work of newcomers but people who are so familiar with this genre, what really makes it tick, that they can invigorate it with their own distinct vision.

The drumming is particularly special, giving the tracks a solid foundation as on “Is It Enough” and “Caravan,” the Duke Ellington classic. Some people might pitch this to only an older crowd; however, that would be a mistake. Real music transcends age groups, and even kids who aren’t familiar with torch songs will register with the emotions and passions conveyed on Charmed.

http://www.sweethoneytree.com

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Posted in Jazz Vocals

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About author

Julian Wilson, Editor, has been writing about different genres of music, from jazz to techno, for nearly two decades in print.

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