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Music Review: Amy London – Let’s Fly

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Let’s Fly, the second album from jazz singer Amy London is packed with music that could blend perfectly with jazz standards. She pays tribute to her influences in 70s music and classic jazz. Through all thirteen tracks London displays a passion and understanding of her voice.

From the beginning London’s voice is evocative and smooth and displays a very nice tone. On “Let’s Fly” London transitions easily though playful and airy to deep and soulful through the cheeky lyrics of the song. There is a tenderness and lightness in “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love” to contrast.

The flow of the album is amazing and finds a wonderful groove right in the middle. The intro section to “My Darling Monique” is memorable. The way London sings the track, you can hear influence from Barbra Streisand. The arrangement is very simplistic and works well with the softer vocals. It’s probably the best song on the album because of how well it showcases London’s vocal ability. Some of her best high notes are heard on “I Never Meant to Hurt You” and those notes felt like they were the ones steering the tempo of the song.

The bossa nova style of “This Happy Madness” gives the album a spirit that’s also seen a bit in “How Deep is the Ocean?” The Latin touches on several tracks are a good counterbalance to the more classic vocal jazz that the rest of the album has. London does a great job matching her vocal abilities to the Latin flavor and there’s hope that she continues picking a good variety of tempos and genres in the future.

There is a lot of effort put into “All I Want;” the track succeeds in its shifts in tempos. On the lyrics “All I really really want our love to do, Is to bring out the best in me and in you too,” her love of jazz shows the best in her. The song’s origins with the dulcimer and Joni Mitchell’s more airy vocals aren’t mimicked, but the track is faithful to the original lyrics and gives a very creative twist with the tempo.

The album finishes on a peppy point of view with “Without a Song” and it’s actually a great way to end the album, contrasting with the melancholy “Out of this World” and leaving listeners awake and alive. The song reinforces London’s passion in singing jazz music and leaves hope for another memorable album from her.

Even with the occasional experimentation with Latin and Swing, the main star of the show is London. Occasionally during songs like “Let’s Fly,” the arrangements in the background can become a bit generic at points, bringing up images of a hotel lounge instead of larger stages that Amy London deserves to sing on. Not discrediting the work that her husband Roni Ben-Hur (Guitarist who shines in “How Deep is the Ocean?”) and Glauco Sagebin and Richard Wyans (pianists for various tracks) did on Let’s Fly, but many of the tracks felt by the book or without any creativity.

While Amy London released a wonderful jazz album that is respectful to the genre, she doesn’t too much to reinvent the wheel. Her vocals are beautiful albeit a bit generic at points. Any standard vocal jazz fan would appreciate what London has done with “Let’s Fly” because of how much she followed the footsteps of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and even a little bit of Peggy Lee on the title track. Even with her influences from 70s music the album is a very smooth jazz listen.

If someone looking for individual tracks, “My Darling Monique” and London’s take on Joni Mitchell’s song “All I Want” are terrific tracks that can stand on their own. Truthfully, Let’s Fly deserves to be listened to the whole way through because of how smooth and beautiful the songs transition between each other. None of the songs are out of place and fit perfectly, making Amy London’s Let’s Fly a wonderful jazz album to own.

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About Michael Pascua