Call it Magic

Typhanie Monique

(3 Dot Time Records)

 

 

Typhanie Monique – Vocals

Ben Lewis – Piano

Joshua Ramos – Bass

Dana Hall – Drums

Tony Monaco – Hammond B3 Organ

Greg Artry – Drums

Jill Kaeding – Cello

Felipe Fraga – Percussion

Victor Garcia – Trumpet

Marques Carroll – Trumpet

Ryan Schultz – Bass Trumpet

Victor Goines – Clarinet

Ken Peplowski – Clarinet

Joel Frahm – Tenor saxophone

Neal Alger – Guitar

Paul Von Mertens – Flutes, baritone sax, string and horn arrangements

Jim Gailloreto – String arrangements

Other Musicians:

Mark Agnor – Violin

Lori Ashikawa – Violin

Wendy Evans – Violin

Lisa Fako – Violin

Carmen Kassinger – Violin

Andrea Tolzmann – Violin

Katherine Hughes – Violin

Cihsuan Yang – Violin

Carol Kalvonjian – Violin

Dominick Johnson – Viola

Matt Agnew – Cello

Matthew Oliphant – French horn

           

Call it Magic is vocalist Typhanie Monique’s fourth release as a leader and the first without the guitarist Neal Alger. Monique interprets a wide variety of intriguingly rearranged jazz and pop standards with agility and elegance. Her intimate approach to these songs and unique, expressive style results in a thematic cohesiveness despite the diversity of the source material. For instance, on Coldplay’s “Magic,” Monique’s smoky, honeyed voice burns with passion through the melodic fabric that pianist Ben Lewis’ evocative tones create. Saxophonist and arranger Jim Gailloreto’s lilting orchestral sounds buoy Monique’s warm articulation of the heady lyrics. Over bassist Josh Ramos and drummer Dana Hall’s percolating rhythms, Lewis takes a darkly hued solo before Monique’s tender, wistful singing concludes the tune on a quiet note.

Monique also sizzles on “What Is This Thing Called Love?/ This Thing,” a medley of Cole Porter’s classic composition and one of her own Porter-inspired originals. Her phrases undulate sensually around organist Tony Monaco’s resonant, dense chords. Hall drives this energetic, funky rendition with his lithe, propulsive beats. “Called Love” has a spiritual feel as the introspective and somber Hammond B3 creates a haunting ambience. The leader’s vocals, tinged with melancholy, soar over the earthy and uplifting organ soliloquy like a prayer. 

 

Monique endows Clay Otis’ “This Bitter Earth” with a late-night cabaret atmosphere. Her sensual, wistful performance echoes against Hall’s soft brushes, Lewis’ chiming keys and Ramos’ reverberating bass lines. Midway, the mood becomes more dramatic with the entry of arranger Paul Von Mertens’ hypnotic string refrains. Tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm contributes an emotive and muscular improvisation.

           

With this, her most accomplished work to date, Monique thrills with her sublime balance of spontaneity and maturity.  Her choice of pieces showcases her stimulating versatility. Call It Magic is a new milestone in her brilliant career. Hopefully it won’t be another eight years before she records again.

Reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

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