by Kendra Shank


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Kendra Shank opens Mosaic with a gem that many post-bop vocalists wouldn't consider including in their repertoire: Carole King's early-'70s ballad "So Far Away," which Shank performs in a straightforward fashion. Shank's heartfelt performance packs a strong punch emotionally, although it doesn't have quite the improvisatory appeal that her performances are usually known for having. But after that opener, Shank's improvisatory skills assert themselves in a major way -- and she is delightfully uninhibited on impressionistic versions of songs ranging from Bill Evans' "Time Remembered" and Cedar Walton's "Life's Mosaic" to Irving Berlin's Tin Pan Alley standard "Blue Skies" (which is part of a medley that also includes Shank's own "Reflections in Blue"). And true to form, Shank reminds listeners that jazz vocalists can be cerebral without being cold, distant, or aloof. Shank has long had an impressive ability to be intellectual and warm at the same time -- and that holds true on Mosaic whether she is turning her attention to Cole Porter's "All of You" or Johnny Mandel's "The Shining Sea." Not only do beauty and intellect coexist on this 2008 recording -- they complement one another and are equally important parts of Shank's artistic makeup. For all its post-bop abstraction, Mosaic is never lacking when it comes to emotion or vulnerability. Mosaic isn't quite as essential as A Spirit Free: Abbey Lincoln Songbook, the superb tribute to jazz vocal icon Abbey Lincoln that Shank recorded in 2005. But it is still an excellent addition to her rewarding catalog.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/14/2009
Label: Challenge
UPC: 0608917327922
catalogNumber: 73279
Rank: 272018

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kendra Shank   Primary Artist,Vocals
Frank Kimbrough   Piano
Dean Johnson   Bass,Bass Guitar
Ben Monder   Guitar
Tony Moreno   Drums
Billy Drewes   Clarinet,Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Sax (Sopranino)

Technical Credits

Irving Berlin   Composer
Peggy Lee   Composer
Carole King   Composer
Bill Evans   Composer
Kirk Nurock   Composer
Cedar Walton   Composer
Judy Niemack   Composer
Wayne King   Composer
Frank Kimbrough   Composer
Charlie Chaplin   Composer
Haven Gillespie   Composer
Charles F. Kenny   Composer
Johnny Mandel   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
Bob Todd   Composer
Victor Young   Composer
Kendra Shank   Composer,Producer
John Turner   Composer
Coleman Barks   translation
Manfred Knoop   Engineer
Egbert VanAlstyne   Composer
Cornell Todd   Composer
Andrew Rowan   Producer,Liner Notes
Paula Hackett   Composer
Nick Kenny   Composer
Marcel van den Broek   Art Direction,Cover Design
Paul Lewis   Composer
Maryanne De Prophetis   Composer
Rumi   Composer
John & Paula Hackett   Composer
Cornell & Bob Todd   Composer
Geoffrey Parsons   Composer

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