Nicky Crayson

Day Dream

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Sydney, Australia, based Nicky Crayson is no newcomer to the jazz vocal scene. She's been at the game since she started singing in local clubs at the age of 14. A true jazz singer who sees her voice as an integral part of the instrumental group with which she is working, Crayson has the ability to modulate and manipulate her voice much like a horn player. She can race along with a bass and punctuate those breaks like a drum as she shows on several tunes on this album, including "What a Little Moonlight Can Do." This is freestyle jazz singing as Crayson allows her voice to roam, giving it free rein to express to the fullest her message and thought in each phrase she sings. This doesn't mean that anarchy has taken over; it's just that Crayson refuses to be constrained by any set of rules governing the way a song should be sung. "Stomping at the Savoy," for instance, is sung at a slower pace than usually heard, allowing the listener to feel the effect of the lyrics that generally get trampled in the up-tempo romps normally given this tune. She also adds a bit of the vamp to the delivery. Adding to the attractiveness of this track is a lengthy solo by pianist Matt McMahon. You just feel the despair in the unhappy person, the subject of "Since I Fell for You." Each tune gets a thorough going over. There's none of this three-minutes-and-out stuff as the group sinks its musical teeth into each song looking for, and sometimes discovering, a nugget from these class standards that hasn't yet been mined. This is taking-it-to-the-edge jazz vocalizing, and is recommended.

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