From the opening cut, Simple Gifts, to the toe tapping Zip-pa-dee-doo-da, Believe It! Offers a playful approach to jazz. The material is reminiscent of west coast artists like Lee Ritenour and Joe Sample, with a few standards like Alone Together and Black Orpheus included for listeners who appreciate classic jazz. The arrangements are fresh and the playing is spontaneous. James Reaney (London Free Press) said, "Heywood and Noubarian are at their smooth jazz best." John Sharpe (Scene Magazine) called it, "...an impressive effort, Four stars!" Although primarily an instrumental album, Believe It! Offers a sampling of three original vocal tunes. The title cut, Believe It!, written by Heywood, has an upbeat Latin flavour featuring guest vocalist, Jessie Ross, a singer with an intimate sound and a velvet voice. Noubarian peers from behind the keyboard to lend his Chet Baker style voice to Falling, and Toronto vocalist, Alphonso Burke, makes a guest appearance on Heywood's soulful ballad, I Give To You. Noubarian and Heywood have a long musical friendship and they play off each other with a savy intuition. Believe It! Is fun with surprising moments. It's light without being trite, and serious without being heavy. Biographies John Noubarian John Noubarian is a contemporary pianist and vocalist who has had a lifelong love affair with jazz. He has performed with world renown players such as Peter Appleyard, Pat LaBarbera, Coleman Hawkins, Chet Baker, and Herbie Mann. In addition, he is an excellent piano accompanist having worked with scores of top vocalists including Ernestine Anderson and Carmen McRae. A highly sought after performer, his trio has been featured at the Stratford Festival, Toronto DuMaurier Jazz Festival, Toronto Beaches Jazz Festival, and the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. Ben Heywood Ben Heywood is a guitarist spanning an eclectic spectrum of musical styles from classical to pop with a passion for jazz. His experience includes working with a host of great talents such as: Paul Horn (4x Grammy Award recipient), Phil Nimmons, Dave Young, Phil Dwyer, Mike Murley, Liberty Silver, and Eddie Bullen (all Juno Award recipients). He is a signed writer with EMI Canada, and his song, Touch Your Heart, received a "Certificate of Merit" from Billboard Magazine.
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