FERN LINDZON plays the Jazz Bistro Thursday (May 8). See listing. Rating: NNN
Juno-nominated pianist and vocalist Fern Lindzon takes an unusually eclectic, international approach to jazz.
On her third album, Lindzon samples from Israeli and Yiddish songs as well as jazz classics and contemporary Canadiana. (Album opener Jazz At The Bookstore, by Ron Sexsmith, arranged by Lindzon and producer/bassist George Koller, is a natural fit.)
The ensemble, which includes drummer Nick Fraser and Michael Davidson on vibraphone, paints a whimsical, often slow backdrop for Lindzon's exploratory vocals, but the music isn't without tension: the title track mimics a spinning mind, and the songs often sound imploring or intentionally cluttered.
That tension is released on danceable Shashado/Loro - based on Brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti's Loro - which features lots of Bill McBirnie's flute playing, and on fluttery, light and brief album kicker This Little Love.
Top track: Shashado/Loro