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Album Review

Lisa Sokolov's Presence is part jazz, part performance art, and 100 percent uninhibited. Her improvisations are full of passion and she generally acts out the words she sings, sometimes to startling effect. Even when performing a standard such as "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" or "You Do Something to Me," she comes across as a bit demented and often extreme in the emotions she expresses but also very talented. Sokolov's voice is strong and flexible while her tonal variations are intense yet logical if often abrasive. Clearly she is never shy to take chances in her music, and listeners who do not mind being taken to unexpected (and not completely comfortable) places will find this stimulating excursion well worth taking.


Born: 24 September 1954 in Manhasset, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Influenced by Betty Carter and Sheila Jordan, New York resident Lisa Sokolov is one of the more interesting and chance-taking jazz vocalists who emerged in the '90s. Sokolov isn't as radical as Ann Dyer -- for that matter, she isn't as left-of-center as Carter, although there are elements of Carter in her phrasing. The thing that makes the expressive, big-voiced Sokolov unusual is her ability to combine the influence of jazz's avant-garde with elements of soul and blues as well as cabaret and theater...
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Presence, Lisa Sokolov
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