Jazz singer Azumi’s 2010 release Almost Like Being In Love is a cheery and ebullient jazz album filled with fresh takes on classic jazz standards. With well-thought-out arrangements and a satisfying choice of tunes, a variation of moods with an undercurrent of lively swing is established right from the inviting title track. Other standards include “On Green Dolphin Street”, “My Favorite Things”, and “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”, played as a cute jazz march.
Other facets include bossanova groove on “One Note Samba” and “No More Blues” and quiet romance on ballads and love songs. One highlight from the latter category is the popular Minnie Riperton classic “Lovin’ You”, a frequent request from Azumi’s songbook and a brilliant showcase for her smooth and lovely vocal range.
With the essence of soft blues and pure whites like the album design itself, Azumi’s delicate voice floats gracefully over the music with a sunny confidence well suited to her outlook as an evangelist for happy living. Like both jazz and life, balancing tradition and novel reinvention, moments of glowing energy surface alongside the swinging beats and slower ballads, especially when pianist Sachiko Ikuta and the band sets loose with vigorous improvisation and heavier rhythms.
Leader: Azumi · あづみ · https://ameblo.jp/azumi-aikawa/
- Azumi – vocals
- Sachiko Ikuta – piano
- Tetsuro Aratama – bass
- Kengo Komae – drums
Released in 2010 on Jazz On Top Records as JOT-1009-1.
* Audio sample at top of page from “Almost Like Being In Love”, the first track on this album.