Bird On The Wire, CD Reviews
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LA Jazz Scene
"Joan Crowe is a new name to me although she has apparently been singing in New York for over a decade. She has a very appealing voice, a wide range, a strong sense of humor and a very versatile repertoire."
"Performing with a combo, Ms. Crowe performs one interesting selection after another, ranging from swinging jazz to cabaret and pop, all of it infused with surprising moments and bits of wit. She expertly combines together "Fever" with the sensuous "Caught A Touch Of Your Love," romps on "Never-Never Land" and performs "Twisted" in an unusual conversational version. The singer is sassy on "Boom Boom," touching on "I Cover The Waterfront" and quite boisterous on "Bird On The Wire." She gives the impression that every selection means a lot to her and reflects her life, showing that she is a fine actress in addition to a jazz singer."
"Bird On The Wire is a delight from start to finish, available from www.joancrowe.com."
- Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene
"With her debut CD Joan Crowe registers strongly as a distinctive singer with an intelligent and witty approach to her material. Drawing songs from among popular standards and lesser-known works from the pop field, she works engaging variations and fits smoothly into the supporting group, which includes the core trio of Tedd Firth, piano, Jay Leonhart, bass, and Scott Newman, drums. Joan's voice is rich and fluid and she has a pleasingly controlled touch of vibrato. A thoroughly musical and highly enjoyable set, this CD, released in August 2005, should have a wide appeal and must surely be only the first of many albums yet to come."
- Bruce Crowther, swing2bop.com
"Joan Crowe - BIRD ON THE WIRE: When "Fever" comes crooning out of the speakers with the same intensity as Peggy performed it with, yet with Joan's own unique spirit/take on it, your ears know you've snatched a true winner. Ms. Crowe's vocals on these wonderful jazz tunes are full of pure energy & dedication to putting the listener in the "pleasant zone". The whole idea on this CD is that the ears of those who are catching the sonics must be entertained... no drab messages, or worn-out cliche songs, in fact every moment on each song is full of emotion & talent. My favorite cut was "Twisted", 'coz it displays shining talent, boogie'in' blooz energy & humorous intent through & through. This is one of the best jazz vocal CD's I've heard (yet) this year, & we certainly look forward to hearin' more from Joan in the future. This one gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from my ol' ears... hit the stores when it hits the streets 'round August 16th, 2005. Get more information on Joan's site at www.joancrowe.com"
- Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation
The Musicians' Ombudsman
If this is Joan's debut CD, my response is: Where in the hell have you been all my life? This is a jazz singer who knows her music, offers great covers. And, hires totally consummate jazz players that provide her a solid musical platform to help release her vocalise gainfully for our instruction. Joan's attractive vocal offerings are finely poised with great emotional range, containing an extraordinary sculpted delivery projecting an almost anguished lyricism. But, none-the-less, she possesses a voluptuous sonorous vocal instrument for us to enjoy.
- George W. Carroll, The Musicians' Ombudsman
"A debut album as good as this deserves a listen or twenty. Joan Crowe's first release "Bird on the Wire" is jazz essence in its purest form. Her platinum voice captures the mood in her cover of Leonard Cohen's Bird on the Wire."
"My favorite track on the album "Sweet Southern Woman," gets down and funky. The piano and guitar lead as much as the vocal. Joan really cuts loose, and lets the music do the talking. I hope that Joan continues to write, perform, and record. Bird on the Wire has really got me interested in new jazz again. Another great cover song on the album is "I'm Only Sleeping," has a reggae/jazz twist that will get you bobbing your head."
"Accompanied by Tedd Firth on Piano, Jay Leonhardt on Bass, Scott Neuman on Drums, George Walker Petit on Guitars, Justin Plynn on Saxophone and Clarinet and Mike Petit on Hammond Organ.
Songs on the album include: Fever/Caught a Touch of Your Love, Never-Never Land, Every Night I Sleep with an Angel, The Way You Look Tonight, Boom Boom, Petite Southern Woman, I Cover the Waterfront, I'm Only Sleeping, Everything, Me and Mrs. Jones, Twisted, Bird on the Wire and Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss. Samples of the songs are available at her website www.joancrowe.com"
- Paul Pelon IV, Audiophile Audition
"This debut CD collection by Joan Crowe is a delightful listening experience, and one which will find a wide following with the jazz audience. Each song has its individual jazz motif and shares with a special joy."
"Joan Crowe, an accomplished songwriter, gives special attention to the standards in this CD plus her own work. The songs are "Fever/Caught a Touch of Your Love," "Never-never Land," "Every Night I Sleep with an Angel," "The Way You Look Tonight," "Boom-Boom," "Petite Southern Woman" by Joan Crowe, "I Cover the Waterfront," "I'm Only Sleeping" by The Beatles, ""Everything" by Rupert Holmes and Paul Williams, "Me and Mrs. Jones," "Twisted," "Bird on the Wire" by Leonard Cohen and "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss.""
"Joan Crowe has a versatile voice that is full of intimacy and emotion. There is a distinct sensual quality to her voice. She puts great emotion into her singing and her clear voice vibrates with joy as she sings the words. Her seductive voice clearly defines Jerome Kern's "The Way You Look Tonight" as the composer would have enjoyed hearing it!"
"Tedd Firth is as always a master at the jazz piano, his performances perfect and filled with verve, style, and skill. The musicians are topnotch, each one of them."
"For something different and enjoyable, give Joan Crowe a listening to, and relax to her memorable vocals on Bird On The Wire. A wonderful jazz vocal collection, worthy of your time and a fine gift idea for a friend. Excellent."
- Lee Prosser, www.jazzreview.com
"This singer is one of those performers who really needs to be known more. She presents familiar tunes in such a fresh manner they never seem old. The album also features a good backup crew featuring bassist Jay Leonhart. Two and a half stars"
- Bob Karlovits, Tribune-Review
"Joan Crowe is very personable; she filled the house at Iridium on a Friday evening to perform songs from her recent CD. Her bandmembers were: Tedd Firth, piano; Jay Leonhart, bass; Scott Newman, drums and Lisa Parrott, sax."
"Crowe was very well-prepared for this event, and in an upbeat mood. On the tune "Fever/Caught a Touch of Your Love," she got the audience to participate by having them snap their fingers with the music. She moved around the stage in a sexy red and black dress."
"Crowe appeals to a wide audience - this is "easy listening" music. She's an actress, a cabaret star, and became involved with Jazz relatively recently."
"Joan's tunes are very diverse - she sang Leonard Cohen's "Bird on the Wire" with a gospel feel, and Loesser's "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" as a reggae-funk combination. Crowe's original tune "Petite Southern Woman" is a true story about her mother-in-law, and is quite witty. Her rendition of "The Way You Look Tonight" (Kern/Fields) was very sweetly dedicated to her daughter."
"Ms. Crowe's CD, "Bird on the Wire" is engaging. Listeners will enjoy her voice and the variety of styles. That's it for September's Notes from the Apple. See you next month."
- Lucy Galliher, Jazz Now
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