Playful, spirited and conversational are some of the traits that color composer Nicholas Urie’s debut effort, Excerpts From An Online Dating Service. The tracks are descriptive of pop culture’s love affair with the “casual encounters” posted over the Internet. Urie tells in a recent press release that the inspiration for these compositions were the postings that people have made online, citing there is an “amazing level of vulnerability people are willing to show on the Internet… virtually any topic is freed from taboo… without self-censorship or traditional social filtering.” At 23 years old, Urie has taken on an ambitious project to connect jazz music with pop culture fetishes, and showing that these art forms complement each other beautifully. Produced by John McNeil, Excerpts From An Online Dating Service has the potential of becoming the next Rent-type show on Broadway.
The buffoon-like tumbles of the trombones and tuba give tracks like “About Me” and “Holidaze” a vaudeville-style storytelling with animated sprigs and well-orchestrated curls and bindings. The music is fun and exuberant and jumps out into the audience making them relate to the stories being told. The bobbling beats and puffy horns sail with a comfortable ease as vocalist Christine Correa gives the songs personality like in “Bad Girl” and “Wayne” where her voice rises into blustery flames. Her singing is an active ingredient in these tracks giving them vitality and a plumpness that jolts the music into a rigorous workout. Sometimes her voice takes complete command of the reins like in “Cougar Seeks Prey,” and sometimes she has a more laid-back role in the songs like in the lithesome strands and balladry wavelets of “Afternoon.”
Nicholas Urie’s debut offering has its melodic pins and needles beautifully in line with Correa’s searing vocals giving the tracks moments of majestic lifts. Excerpts From An Online Dating Service is an ambitious offering, drawing lines that connect chamber-jazz influences with pop culture themes and presenting audiences with stories that mirror their own lives, or at least make them ponder the lives being presented in the compositions.
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