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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove



TOSCHA COMEAUX

This Could Be Love

Zenith ZJCD 001

 

 



 
1. If This Could Be Love
2. Don't Turn Around
3. You'll Never Get To Heaven (If You Break My Heart)
4. A Day In Paradise
5. Never Think That I Don't Really Care
6. Tell Me It's Just A Bad Dream
7. Sunday In New York
8. If This Is Love
9. It's All 'Cause Of Loving You
10. When I See That Look In Your Eyes
11. Mean To Me.
 
Toscha Comeaux, Sisaundra Lewis-Reid, Chet Samuel, Meka King - Vocals Rohan Reid, Doug Mathews - Bass
Harvey Marshall, Walt Hubbard - Drums
Tony Hemmings, Ed Krout, Richard Drexler - Keyboards (organ, Fender Rhodes, piano)
Rohan Reid, Paulo Carvalho, Ivo Carvalho, Paul Buzin, Jay Owens - Guitars Orlando Sanchez, Aaron Gandia - Percussion
Philip Martin, Alain Bradette, Brian Snapp, Phillip Martin - Saxophones
Tom Parmerter - Flugelhorn, trumpet
Brian Scanlon, Steve Walters, Don Rogozinski - Trumpets
Pat Gullotta, Guillermo Hewitt - Trombones
Christian Tamburr - Vibes

 

I have become so sceptical about new "jazz" vocalists that it sounds almost heretical for me actually to welcome a new one. But Toscha Comeaux is someone who sings in tune and with feeling. She is not exclusively a jazz singer, as her style and repertoire embraces a variety of areas. The nearest reference point is Lizz Wright - in fact, Toscha sounds remarkably like Lizz on such tracks as the first two here. So, as with Lizz Wright, you might call her a soul-jazz or jazz-soul vocalist. Whatever the categorisation, this is an assured debut album.

Like many of the best American vocalists, Toscha started singing in church, but she later did formal training at several colleges. Her vocals often have the vibrancy and passion of church choirs. Tell Me It's Just a Bad Dream is like a secular version of a heartfelt sacred song.

Perhaps the best way to judge a jazz vocalist is when they sing standard songs, although there are only two here: Bacharach & David's You'll Never Get to Heaven and Turk & Ahlert's Mean To Me. On both songs Toscha swings convincingly, and the latter has a high-flying trumpet solo from Don Rogozinski. You might think that Sunday in New York is a jazz standard, but I think that's a different song from the one here - which, like most tunes on the CD, was written by Peter Yates. Whatever the truth, it still swings along nicely.

Other tracks emphasise other aspects of Toscha's talents. A Day in Paradise mingles a reggae rhythm with a soulful delivery. Never Think I Don't Really Care has an alto sax punctuating and soloing just like Dave Sanborn, although it is actually played by Philip Martin. The backing for If This Is Love sounds like a big band but, here and elsewhere, the arrangements are judicious and don't swamp the singer. And It's All 'Cause of Loving You is a subtle jazz waltz, refreshed by Christian Tamburr's vibes solo.

On the evidence of this first album, Toscha Comeaux is a name to conjure with - although her name already looks like an anagram! She is on tour in the UK so, if you get a chance to hear her in person, seize it.

Tony Augarde


 



 

 

 

 



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