Monday, March 19, 2018

New music: Chantal Chamberland - Autobiography, SACD

I received a copy of this from EvoSound, a Hong Kong based company handling global releases and audiophile recordings. A new artist to me, Chantal Chamberland has already released six albums and is well-known in Canada and Asia. The present volume is  compilation, it seems, of  tracks from those releases and I have to trust that the selection is indicative of her music.

If you examine the track listing you'll get an idea of her style, but only an idea. "Feeling Good", "Crazy" and  "Fever" point to the stock middle of the road jazz canon that she seems to favor but it's her treatment of these that catches the ear. Her voice is calm and moody, rarely being raised beyond a smooth crooning level, but in a manner that is highly intimate, personal and present.

Instrumentation is relatively sparse, guitar (which she plays well), bass, drums, piano, with the occasional sax or horn, but the backings are loose, natural and embody the idea of accompaniment rather than competition with the singer. Production values here emphasize a late night club-date atmosphere, a singer, small band, and songs designed to make you relax rather than dance.

For me, I could live without another cover of some songs ("At Seventeen" is just a little too close to the original to be pleasing and I never need to hear "Hit the Road Jack" again really) but then I guess the compiler wanted to reassure new buyers that there was nothing to be afraid of here.  But these are small quibbles, the set is enjoyable, the sonics very good, and Chantal is a musician I'll keep an ear out for in the future.  Her version of the Bee Gee's 'How Deep is Your Love" is the most enjoyable version I've heard (sorry brothers Gibb!), her phrasing on vocals and simple but effective guitar, along with subtle cello and flugelhorn touches, give the tune a truly pleasing groove.  How much talent is out there yet to be discovered? It's endless, so take a chance.

You can find her on Amazon here  and check out her label here

1 comment:

MyIrenee said...

A very good recording as i have the LP,
also have 2 HQ CDs ( No 5 and This is our time, all very well recorded and a pleasure to listen to.
Happy discovery.