In this new compilation of standards from stage and screen, Kai Brant tackles some of the biggest, most classic songs ever written. If you recognise the line-up, you might find yourself feeling a bit old, but Brant's voice and stylings make you feel young again - like it's the first time you're hearing these saucy old-time ditties. Brand new, all over again! Add to it the brassy tones of Martin Motnik's fretless bass, and you have a collection of tunes well worth an all-night listen. And maybe into the next day, too.
Brant sings the standards true; the melodies are as they should be. That soothes me with a real sense of comfort. When I hear a classic being sung anew, I want to be able to sing along with familiar confidence. Brant delivers all the necessary attitude and experience, and I go right back to the olden days, smiling that the lady has done right by these timeless tunes. Yet, there are those moments when she strays just enough from the path to add some real kink to the story-telling. When she throws in a change, and I continue to sing the original melody, she and I come together in vocal harmony, and it draws me even further into the experience. I become part of her performance. It's as if she chooses new and different tones for the sole purpose of inviting me in.
You and me, Kai Brant. You and me. Let's shake it out a bit with "The Way You Look Tonight." Attitude rubs off, don't you know?
Featured bassist, Martin Motnik's choice of a fretless electric instead of a stand-up brings an entirely new feel to the music. He's got his mwah on big time, but since Motnik plays the stand-up as well, the mwah is guided by the hip-swaying authenticity of the big bass, and it works. Oh yeah, it works. Such a noticeable presence to complement Brant's voice. I swear to you all, on the last track, George Gershwin's 's Wonderful, Motnik's bass actually seems to pronounce the lyrics during his solo in the middle. The fretless just sings sweetly to us. Listen to it and tell me you can't hear it singing 's Wonderful.
Add to the atmosphere some fine, delicate piano and jazzy snare brushes, and you have a special evening before the fire, slow dancing with the one you love. Close your eyes and you're there!
Here's the album's line-up:
01 - Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets02 - Summertime03 - The Way You Look Tonight04 - Manhã De Carnaval05 - Why Don't You Do Right06 - My Funny Valentine07 - Feeling Good08 - Besamé Mucho09 - Autumn Leaves10 - 's Wonderful
If you know these tunes, you probably already have a favourite singer and a favourite way you remember each one. Do you prefer Dinah Shore? Ella Fitzgerald or Eartha Kitt? Maybe a newer version. Maybe some Norah Jones? Pick any of the classy ladies (and sometimes men) who have delivered these numbers throughout the years. Kai Brant and her performances on this album are destined to find their place on that exclusive list.
I'm known to say things like, "I love the Eartha Kitt version of Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets", but from the first listen of The Way You Look Tonight, I will now add to my critique, "Have you heard the Kai Brant version?"
She's a new standard with the standards!
I recommend "The Way You Look Tonight" to all lovers of beautiful music and beautiful voices.