By Jim Burlong, Jazz Views
Californian singer and songwriter Jackie Gage has already received rave reviews in America for this her debut release. With a quartet of west coast musicians and a chamber ensemble she has produced a balanced package, covering her own originals, well known standards plus some little heard gems. The self produced album, only thirty minutes in length, but full of quality was premiered at Yoshi’s in Oakland and soon afterwards the singer made a career decision to relocate to New York. With plays already on Jazz FM it is hoped that in time she will soon gain well deserved recognition in the UK.
Her vocal style is full of soul, jazz sensibility and engagement, allowing her to convey torch songs and ballads with equal aplomb. Her clear diction, control and wide vocal range are well demonstrated on the Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer classic “That Old Black Magic” and the superb jazz standard “Afro Blue” where she takes an unusual light and engaging approach. Her original pieces written together with composer William Bohrer show imagination and depth, the medium tempo swinger “It’s Your Love” being the highlight. Joshua Washington’s string and close harmony arrangements alongside the imaginative use of Dillon Vado’s marimba all contribute to the success of this album.