Artist: Linda Carone
Album: Black Moonlight
Genre: Vocal Jazz, Vintage
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Big Bad Handsome Man
The Spring Don’t Mean a Thing to Me
Sweet Lotus Blossom
Oh I’m Evil
Why Is a Good Man so Hard to Find
Under the Spell of the Blues
Livin My Life My Way
Deep within the heart of downtown Toronto, flanked in every direction by twenty first century skyscrapers sits an historic three story building. Its charming sand colored brick and arched window facade contains the carefully designed music venue Jazz Bistro. Inside is a beautifully crafted stage immersed directly among the diners, crowned by the one of a kind Steinway piano named “Red Pops”, emblazoned with deep crimson under the lid. It is in this impressive setting that an equally impressive live debut album release performance by vintage voice Linda Carone will occur on May 18th, 2017. Procuring some of Toronto’s top musical talent, Carone delivers a stream of ten smooth swinging tracks on her debut record “Black Moonlight”. Her ease of delivery and crisp vocal discipline suggest that Carone has a lifetime of professional performance to lean on, yet surprisingly she didn’t start singing until adulthood.
“Although I sang privately throughout my life, it took some time to overcome some personal obstacles such as performing publicly.” Carone reveals. “I’ve finally reached a point where I am comfortable to sing in front of an audience and enjoy it.”
The enjoyment of “Black Moonlight” begins with the most familiar track in the set, George Shearing’s classic “Guilty”, previously recorded by the top class of twentieth century female vocalists. Carone’s vocal maturity is on display from the first verse. There is no effort at imitation or comparison to the icons of the past. The verses are rejuvenated with Carone’s concerted effort to create a uniqueness in the genre by contrasting the often light, happy, and cute music with a more subdued approach. If there is a sadness at the heart of her inspiration, Carone declines to disclose, only vaguely hinting at a deeper animus that invigorates her music.
“I wanted to reflect a more earthy feel, perhaps melancholic is a better word. My first introduction into jazz vocals was Billie Holiday, so her vibe really set the tone for how I felt the music initially. It’s somewhat fitting to bring that vibe into my debut cd.”
The album maintains the consistency of a soft swaying swing throughout. “Black Moonlight” is at it’s peak on “Sweet Lotus Blossom”, “Oh I’m Evil”, and “Blue Drag”. The trio of songs offer Carone the opportunity to loosen the mood where a more playful and cutting performance emerges. She is supported by the slick low growls of trombonist Ron Westray and bass reedman John Johnson over an impeccable quartet of rhythm players including bassist George Koller, drummer Davide DiRenzo, Ted Quinlan on guitar, and the steady keys of pianist Mark Kieswetter.
“It can be intimidating at times when communicating with jazz musicians as I do not share the same professional training, but I learn as I go along which is an ongoing process of course. There was a time when I couldn’t have imagined that I could sing and perform. But I think experiences in life have only built up my fortitude and I can now look forward to the next ‘obstacle’. Initially I was content to prove to myself I could do it and because I loved the music. But then the more I performed, the more that people in the audience would come to me with kind words, and some would show up to see me repeatedly. People like my voice, my songs and the banter in between where I share what I’ve learned about the artists who sang or composed the music.”