Picks and Pans Review: Time and Tide
Get set to retire the trophy for most unlikely set of circumstances: Basia grew up in Poland, has spent a lot of time in Chicago, lives in England and her first LP (made with English musicians) is a combination of American pop, jazz and Brazilian bossa nova. It is also a dazzle of a debut. Basia sang previously with a group called Matt Bianco, which was a hit in Europe, but this is her first solo project. Singing songs she wrote with co-producer Danny White and Peter Ross, she displays one of those rare pop voices that sounds like a finely tuned instrument—in her case, a resonant, substantial soprano like a rich viola. Stylistically she ranges from the Latinized funk of the title tune to the quiet of Freeze Thaw to the Brazilian lilt of Astrud, a tribute to Astrud Gilberto that even includes a saxophone sub-tribute to Gilberto's old collaborator, Stan Getz (Basia's horn man is Ronnie Ross). The album also offers some cleanly displayed piano backing by White, whose restraint is an ideal complement to Basia's vocal splash. While her delivery is a lot more aggressive than the breathy Gilberto's, the two do share an ability to communicate quite well in English while maintaining noticeable and notably appealing accents. The album notes reveal that Basia's full name, Basia Trzetrzelewska, "is pronounced Basha Tshetshelevska." Thanks for the help, folks. Let's just call her Bash. A world-class singer by any other name, etc. (Epic)
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