image © Naosha Records 2011
More Michelle Young:
(biography, interview, photos, reviews)
Song of the Siren (1996)
Marked for Madness (2001)
Rudy's Journey (2001)
Smooth Flight Jazz featuring Michelle Young
photo :: Deming Gray
image © Naosha Records 2011
(11 Feb 2011) Michelle Young is back with an all-new record and an all-new sound. Since her run with Glass Hammer in the early 1990s, Young released two stunning progressive albums: Song of the Siren (1996) and, working closely with Clive Nolan, Marked For Madness (2001). She was known for her allusions to the legendary Kate Bush earlier in her career but her sound has now matured and broadened with stylings that vary across rock, blues, showtunes, classical and in this new release, jazz. Young was named a Musical Discoveries featured artist in 2002. A third solo album with a working title of Three Tales For The Telling is in the making.
Prior to this new record, Michelle sang on Clive Nolan and Oliver Wakeman's 1999 Jabberwocky (review) and 2002 Hound of the Baskervilles (review) projects. She also appears on Trent Gardner's 1999 Leonardo, The Absolute Man (review) concept album. Michelle also recorded vocals for Rudy Buttas' two solo albums R.U.D.Y.'s Journey (2001) (review) and On My Side (2006).
Smooth Flight Jazz featuring Michelle Young (Naosha Records (USA) 00261 32221, 2011) is an eight track collection of jazz-styled numbers. The album arose from the ensemble in the run up to a recording for a compilation. It was recorded and mastered at Sound Resources by Fred Schendel (Glass Hammer). Michelle Young (vocals) is joined by a lineup of fabulous musicians: Roddy Noll (keyboards), Gordy Nichol (upright bass, steel guitar), Jo Whitaker (drums) and Walter Meyer (upright bass).
The record includes new jazz numbers, two Young originals and a cover tune. Standouts include the stunning ballad "Kiss Me" and fresh new arrangement "My Blues," both Young originals from several years ago that make their debut with new arrangements here. The group's lush jazz cover of the 1967 Burt Bacharach / Hal David classic "The Look of Love," originally sung by Dusty Springfield, is just incredible. Michelle's evocative delivery demonstrates significant artistic growth since her last recordings.
The album's gentle opener "Come Rain or Come Shine" is the perfect introduction to the ensemble's sound, piano providing the foundation for Michelle's crystalline vocals. Crisp piano on "Foggy Day" during the instrumental break works well alongside the well sung and produced lead vocal. Jazz instrumentals on "Simple Life" complement the show
tune vocal styling. The upbeat "Middle of the Road" is highlighted by the power of Michelle's voice and equally by the excursions of the instrumentalists. "Sweet Memories" is a tenderly delivered country styled ballad. The steel guitar provides the perfect foundation for Michelle's soaring vocal part.
Michelle Young's followers will be delighted by the decision to release a new eight-track album by this outstanding ensemble. Vocal work, instrumentals and production contribute to a great sound. The album is more than jazz: there's a pop song cover, lush ballads, a bluesy track and even one with country stylings. Indeed, this record is a compact musical cornucopia fronted by Michelle Young's stunning vocals. Release details will be provided when available.