By: Elliot Marlow-Stevens, Jazz Journal
Bassist Steve Haines’ latest release blends jazz band and full orchestra for an impressive and ambitious album, combining originals and well-chosen covers. The atmosphere shifts from more typical orchestral style such as Here Are Our Hearts, to the more jazz influenced, such as Neil Young’s Harvest Moon, in a seamless and expert manner.
In the liner notes, Haines writes that the idea was to arrange the songs around vocalist Becca Stevens and saxophonist Chad Eby, and this is done very well. Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah opens with a fantastic horn section, which falls away to allow Stevens to lead the track with an ever-growing arrangement, ending with an orchestral crescendo.
Eby performs an excellent staccato solo on the more contemporary Canyon Dust, as well as putting a twist on the traditional Come All You Fair Ladies. The final song, Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind, is arranged superbly, with the vocals and string section supported by swelling brass and woodwind.