Andrew Hamlin 11 a.m., Dec. 26
Here I Am
Here I Am is an all-originals program that showcases the singer's smoky alto in a mostly funk-jazz setting.
What caught my ear were the moments (through the magic of multi-tracking), where she harmonizes with herself. Something about that technique maximizes the sultry effect.
Drummer John Staten produced the disc, and the core group includes Glen McKinney on guitar, Stephen McKinney on bass, and local phenomenon Joshua White on piano.
Guest appearances by Castellanos and Jackson greatly enhance the tracks on which they appear.
In its strongest moments, Here I Am floats along with a jazz-funk groove reminiscent of the 70s Crusaders, or, on some tracks, the sophisticated feel of 80s era Steely Dan. It takes a tight band to pull that off.
One piece, "I Miss You", made me think of the Joni Mitchell classic, "A Case Of You."