by George Harris, Jazz Weekly

There is a surfeit of female vocalists that all sound the same doing the exact same material. How enjoyable to find someone who sounds fresh while mixing classic material with her own exciting compositions. Jackie Gage has a husky honey of a voice, with that rare quality of being able to sound like she’s both talking and singing directly to you in a musical yet conversant style. She brings together a team of Timothy Wat/p, John Shifflett/b, Jason Lewis/dr and the ringer of Dillon Vado on marimba, with an occasional addition of The Juxtapositions Chamber Ensemble for some strings.

She’s able to slide along a slinky percussive groove on “That Old Black Magic” and add some traditional folk to the earthy read of “Afro Blue” while the piano slides and bobs on “Comes Love.” The strings have a 50s soundtrack feel on the opening of “Mine” before she pops the clutch for a steady swing, while the luminous “Serves Me Right” has her surrounded by the silken drapes as she sounds both vulnerable and dramatic. This is a lady we’ve got to check out in concert.

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