It should be simple enough to write memorable music: “three chords and a hook” is the old joke. And yet – if it was that easy, just anyone would be able to do it.
It’s not that easy.
Thisbe Vos – Under Your Spell
Released – April 16, 2013
A second release from Thisbe Vos, who first got my attention some 18 months ago. I’m pleased to report that her talents both as a singer and as a songwriter have only improved in that time. Seven original tunes seamlessly join five from the American songbook here, none better than the opener, “Shanghai Blues,” a spritely romp spiced with Geoff Nudell on clarinet.
With one exception (“He’s A Tramp”), all my favorites from this album are the originals. The title track (“Under Your Spell”) features the Pasadena String Ensemble and a lush, velvety arrangement that provides a nicely-gilded frame around Ms. Vos’ creamy voice. “Just A Fool Over You,” is a bawdy, bluesy tune that showcases her splendid range.
About her songwriting, Ms. Vos says, “…an art form can only stay ‘alive’ and grow if it continues to be created. Occasionally I hear mention of the idea that jazz is ‘dead’ or ‘dying,’ but as far as I am concerned, nothing could be further from the truth.”
Does it to be writing songs for yourself? I would think so.
Joining Ms. Vos and Mr. Nudell are Gary Matsumoto on piano, bassist Henry Franklin, Donald Dean on drums, Nolan Shaheed on trumpet, Carl Randall on tenor sax, and Michael Higgins on Guitar.
Ms. Vos crowdfunded this album – in order, she said at the time, to provide for “bigger” arrangements. Who said art was cheap? As a result, she was able to self-produce quite a set of music in this outing. Full disclosure – I was part of the crowd, in order to get an advance copy of the disc.
Good investment. This disc is very highly recommended.