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Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

The Organic Jazz Band: Blue Skies

Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

The Organic Jazz Band: Blue Skies

Instead of a big budget debut, the first release for Christchurch trio The Organic Jazz Band reads more as a taster to their live performance. Featuring a selection of standards, ranging from Berlin (Blue Skies), Shearing (Lullaby Of Birdland), Cole Porter (You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To) to Mann and Hilliard (In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning), ‘Blue Skies’ handles the classics with care. Featuring Nanako Sato on piano and vocals, Victoria Knopp (bass) and Rachel Travaille on saxophone, the group came to life whilst performing at an outdoor harvest market. After much request they decided to cut a greatest hits selection of their live set list. Mixed and mastered by Andy Knopp, ‘Blue Skies’ is a clear crisp listen, performed more smoothly, as one may imagine, than some of the singers who made these songs famous. Likely it was a conscious decision to not attempt emulate the vocal stylings of Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, but more serious jazz listeners will flag at the lack of virtuosity needed to challenge these songs. Sato, Knopp and Traville are all highly skilled musicians, more than capable of making this an impressive listen, but do fall short of providing any education in the re-interpretation of jazz. That said, ‘Blue Skies’ serves its purpose, a lovely dinner time listen that will no doubt get repeated plays by owners.