Album Review of
New Sounds from the Jazz Age

Written by Joe Ross
February 26, 2020 - 11:30pm EST
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Lizzie Thomas’ fourth album since 2010 is a swinging project of classics from the American songbook. After receiving her degree in vocal performance from Nashville’s Belmont University, she played keyboards with several indie alternative bands while developing her jazz voice that is both poignant and heart-tugging on numbers like “Cheek to Cheek” and “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To.” Rather than vocalizing with fiery bursts, Thomas shows restraint by revealing a song’s underlying passion by degrees. Then, there are also the bristling tempos found in the arrangements of “Fascinating Rhythm” and “One Note Samba.” Pianist/arranger John Colianni plays with a strong, lively, expressive attack, and we also hear masterful soloing by Russell Malone and Matt Chertkoff (guitar), Omar Daniels (tenor sax, flute) and Felix Peikli (clarinet). Their new sounds establish a relaxed groove, a bit busy at times but careful not to totally overpower the vocalist on numbers like “Close Your Eyes,” “I Didn’t Know About You” and “In The Still of the Night.” When all is said and done, Thomas sings with passion, sincerity, exuberance and energy. She not only reinvigorates the classic repertoire; she renders it timeless. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)