Suzanna Smith – Halfway Between Heaven & Love

December 10, 2013 / No Comments / Tags: Brandon Essix, Halfway Between Heaven & Love, Hamir Atwal, Jon Arkin, Ken Husbands, Michael Coleman, Michael O'Neill, Rob Ewing, Suzanna Smith

(Ink Pen Records)

Bay-area vocalist Suzanna Smith makes a strong debut with Halfway Between Heaven and Love. Smith’s voice recalls that of great torch singers and yet has a very present day quality. There’s a concerted focus on new compositions on the recording, with the singer co-writing most of the tunes, which also have a yesterday/today vibe. The project is aided greatly by a lineup of talented musicians, including pianist Michael Coleman (co-writer with Smith on most of the tracks), upright bassist Brandon Essex, guitarist Ken Husbands, drummers Hamir Atwal and Jon Arkin, saxophonist Michael O’Neill and trombonist Rob Ewing. There are 3 nicely done covers on the project, but the originals comprise the bulk of the album’s material and highlight the fact that Smith is a great new contemporary voice in jazz.

Click to listen to a clip of “Paper Boat”:

Tracks: Lady Bird/Half Nelson, Paper Boat, Summer Me, Winter Me, The Man That Broke The Dragon’s Heart, Beautiful Love, Planes and Trains, Can You Give it Up, Comet, Monk’s Make Believe, I Would Give Anything, Hooray For Love, Alone Together, Soy Califa.