Take a female bass player/songwriter/ vocalist. Add a latin/jazz guitar player. Mix with a variety of wonderful drummers. What results is a new take on latin/bossa nova and swinging standards. If you can imagine . . . -- sultry vocals with -- guitar work that feels like Joao Gilberto with lots of Django and a little Joe Pass plus -- lively percussion you'll really like this CD. NovaZanz is Maria 'Pete' Durgan, vocalist and bass player and John Cropp, guitarist. Percussion on this CD is provided by three terrific players: Chris Keever, Kent Stacks and Alfredo Mojica. Pete's vocals have been likened to Nina Simone, but there's a good bit of Astrud Gilberto mixed with subtle influences from all over the musical map -- from Elvis Presley to Ray Charles to Bonnie Raitt to Frank to Ella to Sarah. She's played bass in rock, country, folk and blues bands for many years. NovaZanz is her first foray into jazz, and her first effort as lead vocalist. Home at last. John is a self-taught guitarist. He spent many years studying Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery and many other great players. He did most of the arranging of the songs on the CD. Note how he plays aganst the melody line, weaving in and out with a separate voice that blends and transcends, yet never overpowers. He loves to play with changing the feel of songs using subtle dissonances. 'The Big Hurt' is full of this. Pete wrote 'I Can Feel My Heart Again,' 'The Truth is the Same,' and 'Happenstance'. (The rhythm 'guitar' heard on these songs is actually Pete playing chords on the bass.) She and John co-wrote 'Night Walk.' John and Pete had fun adding back-up harmonies to many of the songs. 'Never Ending' and 'Paralyzed' were originally recorded by Elvis Presley, and the harmonies are an homage to the Jordanaires, Elvis' back-up singers. 'Night Walk' seemed to call for vocals with a different feel entirely -- like wind in the trees. 'Sambalero' is also an homage - to a beautiful recording by Luiz Bonfa, who wrote the song. The other songs are simply great ones that John and Pete love to play. Give a listen and enjoy! Your comments would be most appreciated.
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