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Album Review

Kendra Shank, whose initial CD was for Mapleshade, has grown quite a bit since her maiden effort. The singer's Jazz Focus debut Wish starts out with the most adventurous track, a version of "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" that may not be as scary as Patty Waters' classic mid-'60s rendition for ESP, but certainly finds Shank stretching herself with some unusual wordless sounds. Other highlights of her date include Abbey Lincoln's "Should've Been," her own "Wish," a reworking of "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise" (complete with verse), and two originals by bassist Jeff Johnson. Johnson is in Shank's backup group, which includes Hans Teuber on reeds, pianist Frank Kimbrough, drummer Victor Lewis, and vibraphonist Joe Locke. This continually surprising set, which displays Shank's interest in both adventurous jazz and folk music, is well worth checking out.


Born: April 23, 1958 in Woodland, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Vocalist, composer, and bandleader Kendra Shank has really come into her own and found ever-broadening audiences, since she made the sensible decision to move to New York City about 1995. Since then, she has emerged as an original singer with her own identifiable sound, and her background as a folk singer who busked around Paris for a number of years sets her apart from the rest of the pack of contemporary female jazz singers. Born in California in 1958, Shank was raised by two very musically supportive...
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Wish, Kendra Shank
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