Deborah Latz | Sur l'instant

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Sur l'instant

by Deborah Latz

“The directness of Latz’s delivery is a matter of wised-up, mature consolation, the honesty of shared confidence.” — Jon Garelick, DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE, 4 STARS
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Love Theme (from “Spartacus”)
4:06 $0.99
2. Throw It Away
5:34 $0.99
3. Weep No More
4:53 $0.99
4. All the Things You Are
4:54 $0.99
5. Four
2:23 $0.99
6. Blue Monk
3:08 $0.99
7. Mr. P.C.
1:40 $0.99
8. Nature Boy
4:56 $0.99
9. Over the Rainbow
3:36 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
SUR L'INSTANT among BEST ALBUMS OF 2015! DownBeat Magazine January 2016 Issue

ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM Top 50 Downloaded MP3s for 2015! "Love Theme from Spartacus"

“Latz sings closely to the listener and gives the words weight.”
— Robert D. Rusch, CADENCE

Sometimes it’s necessary to scale back in order to make a grand statement.

On her fourth album, "sur l’instant", vocalist Deborah Latz enjoys the company of two superb musicians, the pianist Alain Jean-Marie and the bassist Gilles Naturel. Gone are the drummers, guitarists and horn players that fleshed out the striking performances on her previous recordings. Yet by reducing the instrumentation, the focus is drawn ever more closely to the fine points of Latz’s evolving art. Set in relief against her compatriot’s sensitive and open-eared accompaniment, Latz displays the expressive depth and masterful interpretive skills that mark her as one of the most gifted singers of her generation.

Recorded over two days of sessions in Paris, "sur l’instant" unites the New York-based Latz with trusted players that she’s collaborated with on each of her visits to France. Both Jean-Marie and Naturel contributed to arrangements that grew out of club dates preceding the recording. The instinctive nature of the project reflects Latz’s stated goal: to produce an album that demonstrates her deeply felt affinity for swing and the elemental three B’s of jazz: Blues, Bebop and Ballads. A straightforward notion perhaps, but Latz has brought a distinct sense of personal wisdom to the game. Drawing on classics composed by, or associated with, jazz masters, nodding only occasionally to familiar American Songbook standards, Latz exhibits a rare understanding of what makes jazz vocalizing so powerful. As the album’s title asserts, the ability to pinpoint and make use of what’s happening ‘in the moment’ remains the key to her vibrant and emotive performances. Latz has a naturally melodious, plush toned voice and a rock solid command of rhythm, but her most impressive skill may be her ability to conjoin a song’s lyrics to her own emotional state. There’s nothing self conscious or preconceived about her interpretations, each crackles with here-and-now immediacy. Whether she’s extracting the core emotions from introspective ballads, gliding over mid-tempo excursions or dashing through uptempo romps, Latz locates and melds with the beating heart within a tune.

This keen ability to uncover meaning and inject individuality into her performances can be traced to Latz’s extensive theatrical training and stage experience. “When I approach a song, I always bring the “who-what-when- where-why” specificity that I apply to a text as an actor, “ she says. “I locate those elements and then I bring them together with my own feelings about a song. I usually react first to a melody and a song’s formal structure and then I delve into what the lyrics say to me. The words must touch my heart and soul or I shouldn’t be singing them.” Interestingly, jazz musicians – rather than conventional lyricists – provided the words for the majority of the tunes. Abbey Lincoln wrote both music and lyrics to her now beloved Throw It Away and provided words for Thelonious Monk’s Blue Monk; the legendary singer Jon Hendricks brought lyrics to John Coltrane’s Mr. P.C. as well as Four (credited to Miles Davis, but actually composed by the singer and saxophonist Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson), while Dave Brubeck’s wife Iola acted as wordsmith when writing songs with her husband, exhibited here by the affecting but little recognized ballad, Weep No More. The singer-songwriter Terry Callier appended words to Alex North’s lyrical Love Theme From “Spartacus” which, in instrumental form, has spawned inspired performances from Bill Evans, Yusef Lateef and others. Only All The Things You Are by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein Jr., Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg and Nature Boy by Eden Ahbez are examples of tried-and-true songbook classics still offering inspiration to receptive interpreters.

Latz personalizes this diverse repertoire by burrowing deep into internal reflections. “It’s all about accessing your emotions.
I’m not telling Terry Callier’s story or Abbey Lincoln’s or Oscar Hammerstein’s — I apply the lyrics to myself and my life. While recording Love Theme From “Spartacus” and Nature Boy, I felt a strong connection to current social and political affairs as well.
It’s all about allowing yourself to enter a place where you can locate and uncover your emotional connection to a song.
Even though I’m singing someone else’s words, I’m not telling a story, I’m telling my story.” Assisting Latz in relating her narrative are pianist Jean-Marie (best known to American listeners for his empathic work with Abbey Lincoln on the celebrated 1991 album,
The World Is Falling Down) and bassist Naturel (who has experience with such jazz luminaries as Joe Lovano, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Jon Hendricks) – a dream duo for a vocalist like Latz; that is, one secure enough to interact with musicians ready and able to offer themselves as part of a creative team rather than as subordinate players. With the instincts of a singer exceptionally attuned to the moment, and gratefully aware of the gifts that are being offered up, Latz listens to her musical partners with passionate intensity, reacting with intelligence and poise. Deborah Latz has confidence in the paradoxical power of understatement, a confidence only a true artist can possess.

— Steve Futterman
Writer for the The New Yorker about jazz



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