New York City’s vibrations and sounds are some of the best things about living and breathing in NYC. If you live in or ever visited NYC, you’re also a big fan of the voices and sounds that make Broadway streets magical.
As I write this, it’s a rainy day here in the New York on a Sunday morning. The magical sounds of the rain dropping are heavenly, and today, I am listening to Shoshana Bean’s latest album ‘Spectrum’ currently the # 1 album on iTunes Jazz’s chart. Her angelic voice is incredibly soothing. Shoshana is a veteran of the Broadway stage having made her debut in the original cast of Hairspray and starring as the very first replacement for Elphaba in Wicked.
Shoshana’s tracks ‘Make it Rain‘ and ‘Strange Thunder‘ are the tracks that pulled me in and made me want to listen to the entire CD. I am happy I did, call it fate; a raining day in NYC, listening to one of the best modern Jazz artists I’ve heard to date.
‘Spectrum’ is rhythmic, and track after track I fell deeper and deeper in love with Shoshana’s voice, a voice layered with passion and a slight country twang. It’s a fresh new take on the tradition of the big band. Inspired mostly by Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, and Barbra Streisand, ‘Spectrum’ promises to be Shoshana’s most impressive project to date, and I agree!
‘All To Me‘ is soulful, blended with a hint of gospel, the type of doctrine you hear in the deep south, and it’s my all-time favorite. If had to pick one song off the album that I will listen to the most, it would be this one.
What makes this CD special is the fact that Shoshana is matched musically and backed by an 18 piece big band with arrangements by Grammy Award-nominated arranger Alan Ferber, Bean’s powerhouse vocals, for which she has become known, are visceral and heartfelt. She weaves effortlessly through haunting originals, new workings of contemporary hits and beloved classics.
Shoshana won an IRNE Award for her performance as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl and earned a Jeff Award nomination for her portrayal of CeeCee Bloom in the pre-Broadway musical production of Beaches. She has sold out solo concerts around the globe, lent her voice to countless films and TV shows, amassed millions of YouTube views, and performed with Ariana Grande, David Foster, Postmodern Jukebox, Brian McKnight, and Michael Jackson.
As you listen to ‘How Deep in the Ocean,’ you’ll appreciate the flexibility and range of Bean’s voice, and as you settle in you’ll hear the influences of Ms. Billie Holiday. The track could have been easily a part of the ‘Lady Sings the Blues’ soundtrack, another one of my favorites.
If you’re looking for a modern Jazz album, I highly recommend streaming ‘Spectrum’ today.