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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Review: Irene And Her Latin Jazz Band - A Song Of You

Irene And Her Latin Jazz Band - A Song Of You
2009, Irene And Her Latin Jazz Band

Irene Nachreiner is a multiple-threat artist; vocalist, pianist, songwriter, dancer, screenwriter, actor, and Improv comedy all find homes on her curriculum vitae. She started singing jazz several years ago after meeting acoustic guitarist Marco Tulio (Pat Metheny, Thalia) and drummer/percussionist Cristano Novelli (Milton Nascimento, Diego Torres). Irene And Her Latin Jazz Band's sophomore CD, A Song Of You, features a mix of originals and covers and the exquisite play of her backing band. Aside from Tulio and Novelli, sitting in for this album is pianist and Berklee grad Rique Pantoja (Chet Baker, Milton Nascimento, Steps Ahead, Ricardo Silveira, Carlos Santana).

A Song Of You starts off with the seeds for success, decent original material, some classic covers and a group of A-List backing musicians. Irene Nachreiner gives each song here a technically perfect reading, yet never seems to capture the vim and vigor of her band. Nachreiner’s voice is decent but doesn’t project the sort of charisma needed to pull off songs like S’Wonderful (George & Ira Gershwin); Triste (Jobim); It’s Too Darn Hot (Cole Porter) or Bin Bom (Joao Gilberto). There are a few nice moments here; the title track is a pleasant listen and South Seas Samba has a certain charm to it. Even La Foule is interesting, although perhaps more for the courage it takes to cover such a song.

Nachreiner misses the boat on Fragillidad, the Spanish version of Sting’s Fragile. The original version is an urgent and reverent plea; here it is presented as a hip Latin/Vegas hybrid that’s almost campy. It comes across as technically perfect without the heart or sense of purpose that’s embedded in every note of the song. Likewise Change The World, the song made famous by Eric Clapton comes across like a version you might hear on one of those CDs they sell at Party Warehouse where unnamed performers sing pop hits.

Through it all the backing band is nothing short of inspired. Nachreiner is a solid vocalist with a decent voice, but just doesn’t project the performance style on CD that sells listeners on a song. A Song Of You is a pleasant listen, more appropriate for the dinner hour than serious listening. If you’re more into the instrumental side of things then there is a lot hear to dig into. Irene & Her Latin Jazz Band have created a CD that’s pleasant to listen to but just doesn’t hold the listener.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Irene And Her Latin Jazz Band at You can purchase a copy of A Song Of You at

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