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Carol Welsman

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Album Review

If this self-titled CD had more of a straight-ahead jazz outlook, it would be easy to describe Carol Welsman as a member of the Cool School; the Canadian singer favors the type of relaxed, subtle phrasing that June Christy, Helen Merrill and Chris Connor were known for in the '50s. But for the most part, this 2007 release (which was produced by Jimmy Haslip of Yellowjackets fame) is not straight-ahead jazz but rather, is best described as jazz-tinged pop/NAC singing along the lines of Basia, Marilyn Scott and Sade. The 50-minute CD does have its improvisatory moments; the Brazilian-flavored "Café" (a Welsman original) demonstrates that Welsman can scat and improvise effectively when she puts her mind to it. But pop dominates the album, and that isn't a problem because Welsman's pop — although certainly light — is not lightweight. For all her subtlety and understatement, Welsman gets her emotional points across whether she is putting her spin on the Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes," Madonna's "Live to Tell" or the Latin standard "Nosotros." Welsman has no problem performing in Spanish on "Nosotros"; in fact, she performs in a total of five languages on this disc — not only English and Spanish, but also in Portuguese on "Eu Vim de Ahia," in Italian on "Ora" and in French on "Dans Cette Chambre." The latter is an example of a familiar melody with new lyrics; "Dans Cette Chambre" is Welsman's French-language interpretation of Gordon Lightfoot's "Beautiful." A Lightfoot melody and French lyrics might seem an unlikely combination, but it works for Welsman. This disc falls short of exceptional, although it's a pleasing, likable effort that is worth hearing if one has spent a lot of time listening to NAC favorites like Basia and Scott.

Customer Reviews

A Great Discovery

I found Carol Welsman through a Genius recommendation based on Diana Krall's great new album, Quiet Nights. I sampled tracks from some of her other albums, but this self-titled album just caught my ear. Behind her inviting voice, she's an able jazz pianist as well. There is a cool, Bossa Nova vibe here, even on her cover of the Doobie Brother's What a Fool Believes. The album is well-produced, and the music flows so nicely from song to song. It seemed the perfect soundtrack for sitting on my deck this hot, summer evening, drinking a glass of cold mint tea. I played the album through 3 times, though, just to be sure. I'm adding her to my playlist with Ceu, Michael Franks, Bebel Gilberto, and Luciana Souza. Then I think I'll have another listen.

Very Nice....

I too discovered this talented lady through iTunes recommendations from other artists. She has amazing control and flow in her voice and can really just take you there. The arrangements/production on this album and especially her "Inclined" recording from 1995 are amazing. The calibre of musicianship from the other players is just off the charts. The 30 second preview clips don't let you sample some of the soloists and especially the development of the charts. Either of these albums will not disappoint!

Fresh

Carol Welsman takes a fresh approach to jazz. She has a modern sound, yet doesn’t sound like all the “smooth jazz” too often heard in offices and elevators! She keeps the rhythm interesting, and sings in several languages. Of all of her albums, this is my favorite.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

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

Although Carol Welsman has moved to the Los Angeles area, she is best known in her native Canada. While frequently identified with smooth jazz, she has also recorded vintage standards and can swing in straight-ahead jazz settings, too. Her father was a big jazz fan with a large record collection, introducing his daughter to jazz. Not only did she hear his records, but from the age of 12 she often accompanied him to concerts, developing a love for the singing of Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, and Mel Tormé....
Full Bio
Carol Welsman, Carol Welsman
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Customer Ratings

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