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The Last Hurrah

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Album Review

Shirley Eikhard's fifth album after a ten-year layoff is another gem-like compilation of her original material. There is nothing strained or stretched about what she writes. Each tune has its own distinctive characteristics and message not found in any of the others on this CD's play list. Eikhard writes about the stuff everyday life is made of: love, family, hopes, loneliness, irony, wins, and losses. But unlike most of what hits the stave paper these days, it's not self pitying or whiney — listeners don't feel like running for the liquor bottle (or worse) after a session of her tunes. Moreover, judging from the performance by the sidemen on the session, it's great music to play — leaving lots of room for interpretation and extemporization. Some of Canada's best are in the studio. Kevin Turcotte's lyrical but restrained trumpet is heard to excellent advantage on such tunes as "If I Had My Way" and a buoyant "Mister Charm." A veteran of many recording sessions, Ed Bickert brings his guitar legerdemain, helping to create the feeling of solitude for "Tomorrow Is a Lonely Place." Mike Murley's sax is soulful on the title tune. Holding the session together is Mark Eisenman's piano, with considerable help from Pat Collins' bass. Floating above all of this with total fidelity to pitch and diction, Eikhard's vocal energy and presence is impressive to say the least. Members of the family are brought in on a canine thing, "Chansons des Chiens" (Song of the dogs). The only comment appropriate to this filler is that, gratefully, it's short. With efforts like this, Eikhard deserves to be recognized as a major contemporary jazz singer. This album is recommended.


Born: Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s

Shirley Eikhard began her multi-faceted musical career at the ripe age of 12 when she was paid 15 dollars to sing "Ode to Billy Joe" and "Early Morning Rain." By the time she was 14, she had nailed a contract as a folk and country singer. In 1972, Eikhard began releasing singles and albums ending in a 1978 Greatest Hits album. After a hiatus of about ten years, she returned as a full-fledged jazz singer with her Going Home for Blue Note, which won the East Coast Music Award. Jazz wasn't new to Eikhard....
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The Last Hurrah, Shirley Eikhard
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  • 95,00 kr
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 04 January 2000

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