Following her move to New York in 2004, Sunny Ozell
has spent many years impressing audiences in the Big Apple’s clubs. 11
years on and the singer is gearing up for the release of her blues, jazz
and American roots-based debut album, featuring her reimagined versions
of some of her favourite tracks.
It’s impossible not to feel instantly relaxed as the album begins with the breezy piano and trombones of ‘Manhattan Island Serenade‘. With the slower tempo of ‘Move Along Train‘, you may find yourself clicking your fingers as Sunny hits all the notes, supported by electric guitar and drums.
Live, Sunny‘s vocals were flawless over the wonderful piano composition of ‘Louisiana 1927‘ and the infectious fast-paced, clapping rhythm of ‘Git Gone‘.
Fortunately the studio versions are no different, owing to the fact
that all the vocals were recorded live. Keen to give the record an
old-fashioned feel, Sunny sang along with her band as if on the stage. How many other singers can say they would be confident enough to do that?
Slowing the pace, the songstress falsettos on T-Bone Burnett and Roy Orbison’s ‘Kill Zone‘ and David Mead‘s ‘Only In The Movies‘, delivering two truly stunning but solemn performances as she catapults the songs from obscurity into the spotlight.
As the album draws towards its close, we are given a reinvention of ‘No One Is To Blame‘, originally by Howard Jones.
Almost twenty years on, the song here is transformed from electro pop
hit to a blues number. Last but certainly not least, title track ‘Take It With Me‘ is so beautifully poignant and note-perfect, that it’s hard to comprehend that it wasn’t written for Sunny‘s voice.
While Ozell is the focal point here, the record is also a credit to her drummer and musical director Ethan Eubanks
who produced the album. Each track is a small masterpiece in itself,
both vocally and musically wonderful. Of course, jazz and blues are not
genres that dominate the music scene at this moment in time but Sunny
certainly shines her light over them.
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