Claudia Franco - Soul Dance (2015)

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Claudia Franco - Soul Dance (2015)
Artist: Claudia FrancoTitle: Soul DanceYear Of Release: 2015Label: Self ReleasedGenre: Jazz VocalsQuality: 320 kbpsTotal Time: 47:08Total Size: 111 MB

1. Night And Day (4:39)
2. The Man I Love (4:42)
3. Day In Day Out (3:16)
4. The Boy Next Door (4:47)
5. Dharma (4:45)
6. You're Driving Me Crazy (2:54)
7. The Trolley Song (4:01)
8. Supposed To Be (4:07)
9. How Long Has This Been Going On (3:57)
10. Come Sunday (5:04)
11. E Preciso Dizer Adeus (4:51)

Every day, someone, somewhere, is turned on to jazz. Be it through records, radio, or a riveting live performance. And many make the decision to perform this vibrant art form, in whatever way they feel is appropriate. The amount of jazz that is coming in from around the globe might arguably be at an all-time high. Portugal appears to be no exception to this phenomenon, as vocalist Claudia Franco proves with her release of Soul Dance . She is a vocal teacher in Lisbon, who has extended her talents into the jazz realm, complemented by an effective and accomplished group of musicians, Franco offers a set of standards, some surprises, and penned a couple of originals.

It is a rite of passage for any jazz singer to work their way through the Cole Porter and Gershwin catalogs, and Franco does a commendable job on "Night and Day," "The Man I Love," and "How Long Has This Been Going On." Add to this list Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday," where she obviously has done her homework, with her phrasing and seductive nuances being spot on. It's arduous to do these tunes as they have become larger than life, but she wades in with no trepidation, and makes it out the other side.

"Dharma," and "Supposed To Be," are her own compositions, and they suggest an artist on a mission, searching for her inspiration. Hopefully there will be more of this in future productions, as these songs work for her. "You're Driving Me Crazy," a nice upbeat number, allows her to stretch out and venture into some scatting. Her tasteful approach on the classic show tune "The Boy Next Door," displays her dedication to authenticate the lyrics, though English is not her primary language. She goes back to her native Portuguese in Jobim's "E Preciso Dizer Adeus," a melancholy ballad where she is both comfortable and credible portraying the languid sadness.

As most singers do, Franco leans heavily on her pianist. Rui Caetano, accompanist extraordinaire, who also performs double duty as producer, is the magical force behind this project, and his aptitude in jazz piano is apparent. The rhythm section likewise perform with a solid sense of professionalism, as does the augmented horn section on selected tracks.

This record, as many being produced internationally, is a vital sign that jazz not only continues to develop, but represents its own life force to those who seek to be associated with its positive stimulation. Now on her chosen path, Claudia Franco is to be commended on her passion and perseverance of becoming a jazz singer, and with Soul Dance , she is on her way. ~by James Nadal

Personnel: Claudia Franco: vocals; Rui Caetano: piano; Joao Custódio: bass; Pedro Felgar: drums; Bruno Santos: guitar; Ricardo Toscano: alto sax; Tomas Pimentel: trumpet; Ruben Luz: trombone; Eduardo Lala: trombone; Cesar Cardoso: tenor sax; Joao Alves: doublebass (3).

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