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Expressions

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Perfect Self-EXPRESSION

Following Jon Secada’s music and career over the years, I believe he has recorded the album he has wanted to produce for a longtime. It makes sense considering that he studied and obtained a Master’s Degree in Jazz Vocal Performance at the University of Miami. Since that time he has had a couple of occasions to exercise his jazz vocal skills: (1) Amor (1995) [Grammy Award], (2) Dave Grusin Presents West Side Story (1997) [“Somewhere”]. Now finally in 2009, Mr. Secada has given us an exceptionally entertaining and beautiful jazz album. This is not a smooth jazz album; this is a true straight-ahead jazz album (think Joe Williams, Mel Torme, and Kurt Elling). “Expressions”, a live recording- which gives it a very warm and intimate jazz club feel, is book-ended by a beautiful track, “I Do Love You” with a smooth scat performance by Secada. Jazz standards “Body and Soul” and “What a Wonderful World” are performed with sincerity and the vocal ability of a seasoned jazz vocalist. Pop classics “Chances Are” and “Alone Again (Naturally)” are given the jazz treatment with Secada adding his imprint to them. Secada’s own compositions: “Wishes”, “Find Me In Your Dreams”, “Angel”, “Just Another Day”, “Letter From A Friend”, “Rainbows”, “I Found A Reason” and “When Night Time Falls” are excellent jazz compositions and interpretations. Listeners will recognize, “Angel” and “Just Another Day” lyrically, but the arrangements and interpretations by Secada distance them from the originals and keep them in line with the straight-ahead jazz theme of the album. Overall this is a wonderful, solid, and well produced jazz project, one that Mr. Sinatra, whom Secada recorded a duet with, would have been proud. I will end this review with a suggestion: Expressions (Jon Secada) – Grammy Award for Jazz Vocal Album of the Year.

Biography

Born: October 4, 1962 in Havana, Cuba

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Jon Secada (he legally changed his first name from Juan in 1990) immigrated to the U.S. at the age of nine in 1971, settling in Miami where his parents opened a coffee shop. He earned both a B.A. and a M.A. in jazz vocal performance at the University of Miami. Becoming involved with Gloria Estefan's career, he co-wrote six songs on her multi-platinum 1991 album Into the Light, among them the number one hit "Coming out of the Dark," and sang backup vocals on her subsequent tour. Then he signed to...
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Expressions, Jon Secada
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