Janice Borla Group,
Promises to Burn
(Tall Grass, 2014)

Talk about using the voice as an instrument! Promises to Burn offers some of the best jazz scat singing I've ever heard. Janice Borla moves seamlessly from pure scat over very minimal accompaniment to well-backed singing of lyrics. And all of the cuts are long enough to really allow the vocal and musical experimentation that great jazz features.

I love that she scats -- sings background during some of the other solos, enriching them without taking over. She's drawn some excellent musicians into this, and the interplay among them is phenomenal.

I'm not going to go through every cut, but I especially liked two of them.

"Funkallero" is both clever and very catchy indeed -- I find myself humming it at odd times. It's the first cut on the album and an excellent introduction to the overall sound and quality.

"You Don't Know What Love Is" is wonderfully well arranged, and it sounds to me like a theme song for a James Bond movie -- but better. I mean that affectionately, because although I am not a big fan of the movies, generally the theme songs have been solid.

I'm by no means an expert jazz fan, but I do enjoy it -- and this is one of the best jazz albums I've heard.

music review by
Amanda Fisher

21 June 2014

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