A collection of original tunes and re-tweaked jazz standards, Nightshade from vocalist Andrea Claburn is a dream she realized after 10 years of performing, studying, and teaching music in her native California. Honing a contemporary sound bred from traditional jazz forms and swing-based grooves, Claburn has mastered her craft, growing into an impressive arranger, composer, and deeply endowed vocalist.
Her vocals are tailored to fit the mood of the music, resonating a sultry voicing through the smooth bossa nova strokes of “Infinite Wisdom,” resembling the sensual wavelets of Eden Ahbez’s “Nature Boy,” while infusing “My Favorite Flavor” with perky vocal shimmies along the swinging Latin-imbued grooves. Crisscrossing dramatic soars with a gleeful bounce, Claburn is a diversified vocalist. The torchlight trimmings of “Turn Out the Stars” are draped in Matt Clark’s caressing keys, and the percussive beats strewn across “After You’ve Gone” are shrouded in simmering horns, supporting the island atmospherics.
The interplay between Sam Bevan’s bass and the horn section form a simpatico relationship, as the gentle billowing of Bevan’s bass notes produce balmy vibrations through “Skylark,” with the horns furling softly around the melody. The pairing emerges again along “I Can’t Help It,” with the bopping beats of Bevan’s bass cradling the slinky pivots of the horns. The calming mood of “The Fall of Man” is propelled by the mellow correspondence between the horns and keys, and it flows into the candlelight environs of “Daybreak,” which is adorned in lightly brushed drums and the faint glimmer of the keys.
Terrence Brewer’s guitar chords amble slowly along “Colors of Light,” projecting a Latin accent in its tone. The string section, driven by violinist Mads Tolling and cellist Joseph Hebert, etches silky ripples through “Steal Away” as the wispy chords of Brewer’s guitar produce a sedate lament. The twittering keys creasing “Lionheart” are paired by Claburn’s fast paced vocals, which switch to a cool strut along the flurry of bopping beats across “Bird on a Wire.”
A conservatory-trained musician, Claburn’s vocal depth is comfortable on the ears. She uses her voice as an instrument, positioning herself as another member of the band as she produces an easy-going banter with the musicians. Her vocal strut is charismatic, rooted in jazz tradition and melodic sensibilities with a contemporary bent.
Andrea Claburn – vocals, producer, arranger, and composer, Matt Clark – piano, Sam Bevan – acoustic and electric bass, Alan Hall – drums, John Santos – percussion, Terrence Brewer – acoustic and electric guitars, Erik Jekabson – trumpet and flugelhorn, Teddy Raven – tenor sax, Kasey Knudsen – alto sax, Rob Ewing – trombone, Mads Tolling – violin and viola, Joseph Hebert – cello
“Lionheart,” “Bird on a Wire,” “My Favorite Flavor,” “Infinite Wisdom,” “Turn Out the Stars,” “After You’ve Gone,” “Skylark,” “I Can’t Help It,” “The Fall of Man,” “Daybreak,” “Colors of Light,” “Steal Away”