:SevenYear Of Release
01. Blackbird (4:01)
02. Cheek To Cheek (2:55)
03. Like A Rolling Stone (4:28)
04. Mr. Right For Right Now (3:50)
05. Seesaw (4:15)
06. Midnight Sun (3:14)
07. My Funny Valentine (5:03)
Straight from the mouth of AXS Jazz Reviewer Susan Frances: "Whether singer/songwriter Alison Lewis is performing an American Songbook classic or one of her own original tracks, she makes the tunes on her debut self-release Seven project a human quality. Moved by intuition, she instinctively connects emotionally to the lyrics, making the listener contemplate each word, seeing songs like Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek" and Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" in a new light, a way that makes the songs seem even more brilliant than their original version. Her treatment of the tracks gives them a mesmerizing glint that revitalizes the songs.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney's rarely covered track "Blackbird" is laden with Lewis' authentic imprint as the smooth texture and shimmery resonance of her vocals cradle the words, giving them a bluesy luster composed of her own blend. Accompanied by pianist Mitchel Forman, Lewis' vocals soar above the keys while draped in the folksy accents of Andrew Synowiec's lap steel. So much about Lewis' delivery is rooted in her own making, showing little influence of other artists in her mindset, which is a rare find.
The reposing atmospherics of Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek" give the original springy number a new look as the frolicking piano motifs are reworked by Forman, catering to Lewis' interpretation which contemplates each lyric deeply, emphasizing the underlying emotions. "Like a Rolling Stone" is also revamped with a contemplative undertone, bolstering a country twang emanating from Synowiec's guitar as Ray Brinker's hand percussion carves out a catchy rhythmic groove. The cool jazz vibrations ruminating through Lewis' original track "Mr. Right for Right Now" is clamped in finger-snapping beats structured by Kevin Axt's bass and adorned in Synowiec's bluesy acoustic guitar chords, making for a melody that could unarguably become a new American Songbook classic.
Lewis' other original number "Seesaw" is clad in candlelight tones formed by Adam Shulman's piano prose as the torchlight mood of "Midnight Sun," penned by Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke, gently illuminate Lewis' smooth vocal swagger. The balladry swells of "My Funny Valentine," written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, bring out the uplifting tint in Lewis' register as her vocals bow and retract seamlessly.
Lewis prides herself on re-imagining the melodic motifs of classic tracks whether from the pop or jazz realms. She blurs the line between the two. Her vocals take listeners deeper into the lyrics, uncovering an uplifting spirit in the melancholy air of "My Funny Valentine" and a hint of sorrow in the upbeat rhythm of "Cheek to Cheek." Intuition is her guide and treating life's experiences with warmth is her inspiration.
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