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Publicat in: 08.06.2014, 06:02AM
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
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Vizualizari: 1996
Etichete: Sharon Marie Cline, This Is Where I Wanna Be

Sharon Marie Cline "THIS IS WHERE I WANNA BE”
(Self Produced) Street Date June 3, 2014

                        There are two primary goals for every great vocalist: to own each song as one’s personal creation; and to tell a story even more deeply than the lyrics depict.  Outstanding vocalist Sharon Marie Cline clearly achieves both of these goals – vividly proven by her new CD This Is Where I Wanna Be.

            With her closest musical associates at the core of the journey, Sharon Marie embraces a diverse repertoire of 12 songs, covering nearly 90 years of popular appeal.  Broadway tunes, Brazilian classics, the Great American Songbook, contemporary pop and her original songs co-composed with her pianist and musical director Rich Eames are all lovingly transformed into personal statements of beauty and heartfelt expression.

            The ensemble possesses that sense of unity and synergy that is essential to this level of artistry, with Eames’ keyboard mastery present on every track.  Bassist Luther Hughes powerfully anchors five tracks, with Adam Cohen, Trevor Ware, Ryan Cross and John Belzaguy bringing their exceptional talents to the remainder.  Jon Stuart – who along with Eames and Sharon Marie created all but one of the delightful arrangements - provides his masterful drumming, spelled by Peter Buck on two tracks; and percussionist Victor Orlando brings his special color to three. Guitarist Jacques Lesure provides his guitar artistry on three as well.

            In addition, Sharon Marie has brought a number of guests to the proceedings, each chosen specially for the particular flavor they bring to each song.  Much of this participation is in the use of obbligato, beautifully complementing Sharon Marie’s vocals as they richly embellish her impeccably delivered song lines.  Interplay and sensitivity are the dominant qualities that are present throughout the entire album.  Sharon Marie’s singing is totally responsive to her musicians – and vice versa – as her beautiful sensuous voice coils sinuously around the ensemble creating a powerful oneness that gives each song a most impressive depth.

            Her voice is richly melodic, never strained and always impeccably phrased, enhancing the lyrics with moods and emotion that tell so much more than the words define.  And her versatility allows her to cover the broad expanse of material, bringing songs that go back as far as the 1920s right into the middle of 2014.  Ballads, blues, Brazilian rhythms, groove swing and up-tempo jazz are all fully in her command.  The entire history of jazz vocalizing is contained in Sharon Marie’s style, and while the influences of many of the giants can be heard in her sound, the essence is fully her own.

            With such a lustrous, mellifluous voice, ballads are an ideal platform for Sharon Marie’s expressiveness.  She employs a style that evokes Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter and Nina Simone, stretching lyrics into deeply resonant long tones that wring every bit of emotional content out of the lyrics.  Brazilian composer Ivan Lins’ Love Dance is built on Eames’ gently punctuating electric piano, Adam Cohen’s darkly hued bass and Stuart’s sensitive drums and percussion, providing a gently Brazilian feel under the lovely vocal.  Green, Heyman and Rose’s 1932 classic I Wanna Be Loved – previously popularized by Billy Eckstine and Dinah Washington - is treated to Sharon Marie’s special brand of passionate warmth. Eames’ cascading piano, Hughes’ deep wood and Stuart’s subtle brushwork lay the perfect setting for Sharon Marie’s emotive vocal.  The Gershwins’HHow Long Has This Been Going On? (from 1928’s Rosalie) is a spellbinding duet with Eames.  The powerful connection between the two consummate artists is fully apparent in this heart-wrenching rendition, with Sharon Marie’s voice coating the piano in a gossamer mist.
           Delicacy in a slightly more up-tempo mode is felt on Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars(Corcovado) by the immortal Antonio Carlos Jobim, with English lyrics by Gene Lees.  A serene samba, Sharon Marie’s voice tenderly caresses the lyrics and melody, with Derek Bombeck’s  softly rhythmic guitar, Eames’ piano and Stuart’s gentle percussion providing the ideal texture.  Another Brazilian groove is in play on the Cline/Eames original title track This Is Where I Wanna Be.  A tranquil bossa-ish feeling is created by Lesure, Eames, Stuart and John Belzaguy’s deeply syncopated bass.  Rob Hardt’s warm, full bodied flute adds a special touch both in his obbligato caresses and fine solo.

            Their other original Sugar On My Lips (with lyrics by Sharon Marie and Mark Winkler) is a delicious slow groove blues, perfectly suited for Sharon Marie’s breathy sensuousness.  With tantalizing syncopation in her delivery and Eames’ organ wail, Lesure’s Grant Green-ish soulfulness, Trevor Ware’s deep bass groove and Orlando’s congas, this is deliciously nasty and delightfully provocative.

            The gorgeous DePaul and Raye classic , You Don’t Know What Love Is has been performed by virtually every great jazz vocalist and instrumentalist – almost always as a ballad.  Sharon Marie turns the tables here, opening as a ballad, but quickly sliding into an infectiously rhythmic, bluesy groover - built on Ware’s suspended bass ostinato, Lesure’s soulful guitar and Reinhold Schwarzwald’s potent tenor sax, and with some perfectly placed vocal overdubs by Sharon Marie.

            A similar rhythmic thrust is employed on Cole Porter’s Why Can’t You Behave?(from 1948’s Kiss Me Kate) with Hughes’ sprightly walking bass centering the potent rhythm section for Sharon Marie’s spirited vocal.  Another Broadway hit – Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, 1949 – provides Happy Talk, a jaunty bouncer that showcases Sharon Marie’s vigorous up-tempo style.  Lee Thornberg’s harmon-muted trumpet solo and obbligato contributions add a special flare.

            That up-tempo groove is also the mode for Rose & Hirsch’s 1926 hit Deed I Do.  A nicely syncopated swinger built on Hughes’ brightly waling bass and Stuart’s fervid drumming, Sharon Marie brings the old song into the present in sparkling fashion. The eminent Tamir Hendelman arranged 1934’s If Dreams Come True (Sampson, Goodman and Kurtz), in a medium up groove with Bram Glik’s robust tenor sax on hand for some striking unison lines with Sharon Marie in scat mode.
            Jumping ahead 40 years Sharon Marie shows how she can take a song heavily identified with its originator and make it entirely her own.  Neil Sedaka’s Laughter In The Rain is a gently effervescent excursion, with Ryan Cross’ cello and Schwarzwald’s tenor sax providing lavish coloring and flavor.

              A prominent member of the L.A. music scene, Sharon Marie is poised for international stardom. Of this, her 3rd album, she states “This album is a passion piece and a coming of age project for me. It embodies my fantasies, my dreams, my history, my optimism and my soul. There is more and more to express each day, yet this album is a launching point. So quite literally: This Is Where I Wanna Be.”

For more information about this remarkable artist, visit 



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