Leslie Lewis | Keeper Of The Flame

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Keeper Of The Flame

by Leslie Lewis

A vocal jazz recording of (mostly) Brazilian music with some standards done in a Brazilian style. Leslie has taken these songs and put her rhythmic and improvisational imprint on them. The music has those things that make it feel like Jazz!
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Keeper of the Flame
5:23 $0.99
2. The Island
6:20 $0.99
3. Spring Is Here
4:48 $0.99
4. Day By Day
4:46 $0.99
5. A Felicidade
3:45 $0.99
6. You Don't Know What Love Is
4:06 $0.99
7. Fotographia
4:05 $0.99
8. Chega De Saudade (No More Blues)
6:02 $0.99
9. Speak Low
6:43 $0.99
10. Caravan
5:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Leslie Lewis and the Gerard Hagen Trio make for a lovely marriage in jazz circles." - Susan Francis, Jazz Review
"Keeper Of The Flame" is the follow up recording to "Of Two MInds" (2008). "Of Two Minds" was released in Japan on the SSJ Label and received 5 Stars in Japan's "Swing Journal" magazine. It charted at #28 on CMJ in the U.S. "Keeper Of The Flame" is Leslie's decidedly "jazz" take on these wonderful Brazilian songs with some standards done in a similar style. She is backed by the Gerard Hagen Trio (Gerard Hagen piano, Domenic Genova bass, Jerry Kalaf drums) along with saxophonist/ flutist Gary Foster as a guest artist.

Cashbox Magazine
Jazz Reviewed 9/14/10
Leslie Lewis
Keeper Of The Flame

The musical starmakers at Surf Cove Jazz are putting out a warning: Make way for the next big thing! Leslie Lewis has a hot one on her hands with "Keeper Of The Flame." A bona fide sure thing for jazz radio success, the album is packed with tracks destined for cooler iPods nationwide.
Working with The Gerard Hagen Trio, Lewis' voice is the foundation for a collection of songs meant to whisk the worries of the world away. It will have been a while since music seemed to be just what you were hoping for, and that's where I was at with "Keeper."
Of the tracks to select from, "Day by Day" stand out for me. If I were choosing a first single, this one would top the list. Perfect for a beachfront sunset.
Let Leslie Lewis make your night tonight with the songs from "Keeper Of The Flame." Leave the hard calls for another time.

Christopher Llewellyn Adams 5 Stars

Jazz Times 09/25/10 • Albums • By Wilbert Sostre
CD Review: Leslie Lewis - Keeper of the Flame
Featured Artist: Leslie Lewis

CD Title: Keeper of the Fame

Year: 2010

Record Label: Surf Cove Jazz

Style: Jazz Vocals

Musicians: Leslie Lewis (vocals), Gerard Hagen (piano), Domenic Genova (bass), Jerry Kalaf (drums, percussion)

Leslie Lewis is all a good jazz singer should be. Her beautiful tone and classy phrasing on tracks like Day By Day, You Don't Know What Love Is and Speak Low evoke the sound of the classic jazz singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.

On the title track, Keeper Of The Flame, Leslie's soulful voice plays beautifully with the melody and tempo changes with Jerry Kalaf adding a powerful drum solo. Her silky, smooth vocals on the jazzy version of Ivan Lins The Island hits you full of emotion.

The Brazilian influence can be heard all through this album, especially on the tracks Day By Day, the jazzy arrangements of Antonio Carlos Jobim's A Felicidade, Chega de Saudade and the sublime version of Fotografia. On these tracks at times one may hear echoes of the Ella Fitzgerald Sings Jobim album, both in tone and phrasing.

As a Puerto Rican I always enjoy listening to Juan Tizol's Caravan, one of the most recorded jazz classics. Leslie's vocals are just perfect on one of the best versions I have heard recently, with interesting rhythmic and harmonic choices.

Leslie Lewis' vocals are complimented perfectly by her husband, Gerard Hagen, and his trio, and special guest Gary Foster on sax.

Tracks: Keeper Of The Flame, The Island, Spring Is Here, Day By Day, A Felicidade, You Don't Know What Love Is, Fotografia, Chega De Saudade (No More Blues), Speak Low, Caravan

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

Jazz Society of Oregon Review
Jazzscene -- George Fendel

Keeper Of The Flame, Leslie Lewis, vocals.
So many singers. So few jazz singers. Not to worry. Lewis proves once again that she can play in the big leagues. With a smoky, rather low-pitched edge to her voice, Lewis works a well-crafted set with a couple of LA players who too often fly under the radar. Gerard Hagen is a gifted, multi-purpose pianist who needs to be heard from more often. On alto sax and flutes, there's Gary Foster, a voice so distinct, airy and ethereal, he's instantly recognizable. The group is completed by Domenic Genova, bass, and Jerry Kalaf, drums. But back to Leslie. Following the title tune, she delivers a sensitive take on Ivan Lins' "The Island." Other Brazilian tunes appear here and there. Among them "A Felicidade," "Fotogaraphia," and "Chega De Saudade (No More Blues)." But Lewis hardly neglects the standard book, with the likes of "Spring Is Here," "Day By Day" and "You Don't Know What Love Is." Lewis scores throughout with a mature timbre and seemingly "built-in" jazz chops.
Surf Cove Jazz, 2010, 51:32.

Leslie Lewis
Keeper of the Flame/Surf-Cove Jazz
Reviewed By: - Steven Harband

There is something magical about a truly authentic jazz recording with all the trimmings and in this case the trimming or icing is Leslie Lewis, ably supported by Gerard Hagen (piano), Domenic Genova (bass), Jerry Kalaf (drums/percussion), and special guest, Gary Foster (alto sax, flute, and alto flute).

Lewis has a very authentic jazz voice reminiscent of Carmen McRae, not to say that Lewis is a duplication of McRae, but her voice offers similar qualities. What is most pleasing in a jazz vocalist is the ability to create an organic, non-affected delivery with true jazz rhythm and tension. Lewis exhibits these qualities in spades, backed by an intuitive and technically articulate ensemble her latest release is duly entitled Keeper of the Flame.

Keeper of the Flame offers a nice mix of Latin and well-arranged standards. Some of those include a gorgeous rendition of "The Island" this cut will immediately transport you to a tropical paradise. Special guest Gary Foster weaves a palette of floating textures, complimenting the vocal prowess of Lewis in her elongated lines.

"You Don't Know What Love Is" is typically approached as a ballad, Lewis gives it a funky/bluesy treatment that offers a new look at this classic standard. Lewis digs in and caresses the track with sass and style. Her band of seasoned professional's serves it up hot.

"Caravan" has an international flair and ere of intrigue. Bassist, Domenic Genova and drummer Jerry Kalaf lay down and throbbing and driving bass-line adding to the panache of the cut. The cut boils to a fever before Lewis' commanding vocals enter the scene. As a unit the group creates a powerful rendition of this well-covered standard, giving it a unique flavor and truly stamping the cut as their own.

Keeper of the Flame is well worth adding to your collection, and Lewis is a jazz vocalist who sets herself apart from the pack.

The Borderland (Musicwatch Column)
Review By: John M. Peters
Leslie Lewis with the Gerard Hagen Trio - Keeper of the Flame (Surf Cove Jazz)
This is the second album by jazz vocalist Leslie Lewis received here at The Borderland, and once again she and her fellow musicians have created an album of classic vocal jazz. The emphasis on Keeper of the Flame is Latin rhythms and Brazilian music in particular, with several standards in the same style. Ms Lewis has a voice of the same quality as the great jazz divas [Ella, Sarah, and Dinah, and perhaps even a little Peggy on the more romantic songs], and she is ably supported by Gerard Hagen on piano, Domenic Genova on bass and Jerry Kalaf on drums, with Gary Foster guesting on flutes and sax. So the sound is very tight, but still swinging with a Latin beat.
Of the ten tracks on this new CD, most of the Brazilian songs are by Antonio Carlos Jobim [A Felicidade, Fotographia, Chega De Saudade], and the standards include Spring Is Here, Day By Day, Caravan, You Don't Know What Love Is, The Island, Keeper of the Flame, and Speak Low. The musicians fit around Ms Lewis's voice like a snug glove, and this is late night jazz of a high quality which just improves with repeated playing. Ms Lewis's has an earthy directness and is sexy enough to make any honest-to-God male heart skip several beats. I don't think I've heard a melodic jazz album to beat this during this year, and I can't commend Leslie Lewis high enough for creating such a lovely album of gently uplifting jazz.

EJazz Review

Surfcove Jazz, 2010
Review By: Geannine Reid

As the genre of vocal jazz continues to expand its horizons it actually defines the be-bop vocalist tradition with distinct clarity. In today’s genre of vocal jazz it ranges from pop vocalists singing standards, to cabaret, to folk infuses stylings and delightfully the be-bop vocalist. Lewis is certainly the latter, drenched in the language and tradition of her foremothers Ella, Carmen and Sarah.

So what makes Lewis unique? Hands down; it is the timbre of her voice, it is like a weathered horn that reaches into the longing in your soul and quenches the thirst of desired satisfaction.

“Keeper of the Flame” is a mid-tempo Latin cut, with well-placed hits and an undercurrent that keeps the cut in a forward motion. Each player is a key element to the success of this cut and each musician plays their role eloquently. Lewis’ voice is commanding and soars with elongated notes and short hits; the cut is a very successful opener.

“You Don’t Know What Love is” offers a playful groove, quite contrasting from the usual rendition. Lewis is fully engaged and offers a playful, yet attention grabbing rendition.
A widely recognized tune “Chega De Saudade (No More Blues)” is a wonderful accoutrement to the overall flow of the disc. The ensemble adeptly provides a flowing Latin beat for Lewis, as she eloquently conveys what is rumored to be the first Bossa nova song.

Keeper of the Flame will spice up any Latin/Jazz collection ably accompanied by the deft Gerard Hagen Trio and correctly spiced with be-bop vocalist Leslie Lewis. Add it to any occasion and you will immediately add class to the occasion.



to write a review


Keeper of the Flame is blazing hot!
Every time I hear this album I get more and more from it. There is so much going on that I hear something new every time that adds another layer to my appreciation for this music. I always look forward to a repeat performance. I especially love the vocals on "The Island" and "Caravan" and the arrangements for "Chega de Saudade" and "Day-by-Day."

Stu Orr

You just get better and better!
I particularly like -- "You Don't Know What Love Is." Great arrangement Gerard -- and the instrumentals too. Looking forward to seeing you soon at the Pelican Hills Resort. You add style and class even to a 5 star resort.