Trisha O'Brien

Out of a Dream

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Trisha O'Brien is a fresh face and voice on the standardized jazz scene, and presents a program of familiar songs that concentrates on the imagination and what can or is fated to be. They're all love songs with a ray of hope and a smile that implies O'Brien is happy with life in general. Teamed with the always excellent Shelly Berg and his trio of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash, O'Brien has chosen a most professional team to back her. This combo on occasion includes Ken Peplowski for three tracks on tenor sax only (not clarinet,) reprising two-thirds of the group that the acclaimed woodwind master used on his 2010 album Noir Blue. It's a laid-back set of ballads with a few energetic numbers and Berg's rearrangements tossed in for kicks. Uniquely rendered is a light bossa version of Joni Mitchell's "Help Me," Cole Porter's "I Love You," and surprising 5/4 version of "Let's Get Lost". O'Brien specializes in smoky ballads, mixes French and English lyrics on a lone track, sometimes kicks into a slightly higher gear as on a dream medley, or matches Berg's punchy two-handed chords during a Latin-flavored "Let's Face the Music & Dance." While fairly safe and taking few chances, O'Brien's voice is lissome and slight, as the world-class musicians she has chosen give her a bigger swing springboard than she might otherwise be used to. It's a good vocal effort, musically better, in the general scheme of things, with promise for future endeavors.

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