Tia Brazda: When I Get Low

Holiday-toned Canadian singer colours traditional swing with hints of country music and slide and blues-rock guitar

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Canadian songstress Tia Brazda refashions classics from the Great American Songbook and gives them a contemporary twist in her third album. Brazda first appeared on the international scene in 2012 with an electro-swing single, Cabin Fever. In 2015 she issued her well-received debut album, Bandshell, followed by Daydream in 2018.

Her perky style of vintage jazz-pop recalls Elizabeth Bougerol of Hot Sardines or Caro Emerald and at times brings to mind Amy Winehouse. The slightly cartoon-characterish slant to her intonation is quite endearing. Eight songs from the likes of Marion Sunshine, Ralph Rainger and Sammy Fain are given the Brazda treatment together with an original.

Ella Fitzgerald’s 1944 duet with The Ink Spots, Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall, is recast with Brazda duetting with guest crooner, Alex Bird. It has superb trumpet from Alexis Baro. The pace slows with Petkere & Young’s Lullaby Of The Leaves and then the title track, When I Get Low, I Get High, made famous by Fitzgerald, has great soloing from Joel Visentin on piano and from Baro again.

Oscar Hammerstein’s A Kiss to Build a Dream On finds Drew Jurecka on bandoneon and is followed by Charlie Chaplin’s Smile with intricate acoustic guitar from Mike Freedman. Jurecka returns on violin to lead in Easy Living while guest vibist Jason Marsalis features strongly in I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire with slide guitar from Freedman.

After a Brazda and Freedman original, When the World Stops, the album closes with an updated version of Fain & Kahal’s 1938 classic ballad I’ll Be Seeing You, made famous of course by Vera Lynn. Several tracks have excellent backing violin from Sarah Wiebe.

Such is the first-rate sound quality of the album that it’s hard to believe all the artists recorded their parts remotely at home during the Covid-19 lockdown. So full marks for the mixing and mastering as well.

Discography
Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall; Lullaby Of The Leaves; When I Get Low, I Get High; A Kiss To Build A Dream On; Smile; Easy Living; I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire; When The World Stops; I’ll Be Seeing You (30.59)
Brazda (v); Mike Freedman (g); Joel Visentin (p); Chris Adriaanse (b); Max Senitt (pc, d). Guest artists on various tracks: Alexis Baro (t, flh); Jason Marsalis (vib); Drew Jurecka (bnd, vn); Sarah Wiebe (vn); Alex Bird, Sarah Hiltz, Denielle Bassels (v). Recorded remotely at individual homes. Mastered in Montreal, 2022.
Flatcar Records FCR022