Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Grazyna Auguscik: River

Now that “convergence,” the darling of late ’90s corporate speak, has fallen out of favor on Wall Street, Grazyna Auguscik might want to claim it for her own. The Polish-born, Chicago-based Auguscik (pronounced Aw-goose-chick) is like a kaleidoscope of styles and influences, variously evoking folk, soul, funk, progressive jazz and techno-pop. On her new album, River (GMA), she often sounds eerily similar to early mid-’80s one-hit wonder Nena Kerner (of “99 Luftballons” fame). At other times, particularly on her fragile cover of Jim Webb’s “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress,” there’s an overt suggestion of the ethereal Astrud Gilberto. Occasionally, when she really cuts loose on such exuberant workouts as “Dancing All Around,” “Never Again” and the soaring, nine-minute title track, she conjures otherworldly images of Yma Sumac sweating to an Esquivel beat. For the record, Auguscik also wrote or co-wrote three of the album’s 10 songs, arranged or co-arranged all of them, and produced the album. She’s a music machine. She might also be prescient. Her convergent technique could well foretell the future of jazz singing.

Originally Published