Feel the Magic

Angela Hagenbach

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Feel the Magic Review

by Dave Nathan

Internationally known model turned jazz vocalist, Angela Hagenbach's third album for her Amazon label finds her in the company, although not exclusively, of many of the musicians with whom she has worked on previous albums. These include the important rhythm section of Joe Cartwright, Danny Embrey, Gary Helm, and James Jeffrey. What is striking about Hagenbach are the dramatic alterations to her voice she is able to make from one track to another to conform it to the way she wants to deliver a tune. And she does this with ease, without any diminishment in the quality of her singing. On "Peel Me a Grape," her voice is enticingly light, while on "Retrato em Branco e Preto," one has to take a look at the liner notes to see whether a new singer has been recruited for this tune; her voice drops to a lower register, resulting in a husky, smoky rendition of this Antonio Carlos Jobim Brazilian classic. "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" is the vehicle not only for some well-done scatting, but it allows Hagenbach to show her ability to fool around with the lyrics, adding some new ones without damaging the theme of one of Duke Ellington's greatest. "Baby, Baby, All the Time" shows Hagenbach's blues side, as she rides into the chorus on top of Cartwright's lead in piano. Unlike June Christy's renowned sorrowful version of "Something Cool," Hagenbach's borders on the defiant. On "Easy to Love," she recalls Anita O'Day. On other tunes, she shows touches of Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae. With her excellent range, perfect pitch, and her unerring sense of what she's singing, there is no reason why Hagenbach shouldn't become one of jazz's foremost vocalists, and to get there in a hurry.

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