Jazz singer-composer Ellynne Rey follows up on her previous A Little Bit Of Moonlight CD with a set of tunes dedicated to birds, The Birdsongs Project.
Joined by an impressive sextet, Rey performs bird songs by such writers as Blossom Dearie, Joni Mitchell, Hoagy Carmichael, Abbey Lincoln, Franz Schubert, and the Beatles, as well as her own compositions.
A devoted birdwatcher and photographer, the creative jazz singer and songwriter pays musical tribute to birds on Ellynne Rey The Birdsongs Project. For this wide-ranging set, she is joined by her longtime associate, pianist-organist Bennett Paster, guitarist Freddie Bryant, bassist Marcus McLaurine, both Anthony Pinciotti and Joe Strasser alternately on drums, trumpeter Alex Norris, and tenor-saxophonist Joel Frahm, plus guest percussionist Jacquelene Acevedo.
Whether the song is an original, a well-known standard or an obscurity, the singer comes up with fresh interpretations that will delight both bird lovers and jazz fans alike.
The album begins with Ms. Rey's "Conversation With A Snowy Owl," a jazz waltz that includes insightful lyrics and some fine scat-singing. She also wrote English lyrics to "The Crow" (die Krahe) which is an inspired transformation of a classic melody by Schubert, and some clever vocalese ("Bluejay & Cat") over the changes to “How High The Moon.” The latter follows Parker's “Ornitholog” and also has the singer holding her own trading fours with tenor saxophonist Frahm.
Other highlights of the colorful set include Blossom Dearie's "I Thought I Heard A Hummingbird" (which is given a samba groove), "Skylark," Joni Mitchell's "Song To A Seagull," Hoagy Carmichael's "Baltimore Oriole," Abbey Lincoln's "Bird Alone," "Flamingo" (which also features some fine tenor playing from Frahm), and "Blackbird." A particular high point is experiencing the top-notch ballad singing on "The Peacocks," which includes effortless interval jumps and some glorious high notes from Ellynne Rey.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Ellynne Rey has performed throughout New England and New York City. Whether as a singer or a lyricist, she is a skilled storyteller, equally adept at interpreting ballads as she is scatting through complex chord changes. A Little Bit Of Moonlight, Rey's last release (featuring guitar great Gene Bertoncini), is also a highly enjoyable listening experience.
With the release of The Birdsongs Project, Ellynne Rey is heard in top form and clearly on the verge of gaining greater recognition for her inventive talents
Available From •Amazon •CDBaby •iTunes
Ellynne Rey The Birdsongs Project
(Self Produced- 02) Street Date: May 1, 2019
Ellynne Rey-vocals, Bennett Paster-piano; organ, Freddie Bryant-guitars
Joel Frahm-tenor sax; ocarina, Alex Norris-trumpet; flugelhorn,
Anthony Pinciotti-drums, Joe Strasser-drums,
Jacquelene Acevedo-cajon & ass. percussion
UPC Code:8 88295 87671
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