Sachal Vasandani

Eyes Wide Open

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Sachal Vasandani has an unusual voice, sounding a bit like Art Lund (Benny Goodman's singer in 1946) in his lower register and hinting at Michael Franks in his higher notes although he has a much deeper sound. Vasandani began getting rave reviews for his live performances around 2005, but his debut as a leader is just OK. Perhaps some of his charisma is better experienced live, but he comes across as a subtle and safe singer (despite a wide-ranging repertoire) with a distinctive tone. His performances on this CD are pleasant and nice but not particularly engrossing or memorable, occasionally sounding like a monotone, particularly on his originals. The performances are uplifted by the Jeb Patton Trio and guest spots for Stefon Harris, Marcus Printup and Doug Wamble. Sachal Vasandani clearly has potential, but it is not realized on this early effort.

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