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Lisa B: Center of the Rhyme

Vocalist Lisa B is an artist who is not easily classifiable. Her CD Center of the Rhyme (Piece of Pie) reveals a singer, spoken-word artist and poet with an incisive way of chronicling situations, memories and emotions. She sings with a pliable, expressive voice dipped in blue, and her compositional approach is profoundly informed by jazz. The CD opens with “Joe Williams Died Walking,” a half-sung, half-spoken ode to the late vocal legend that swings into a jazzy reading of Williams’ signature song, “Every Day I Have the Blues.” B intercuts her smooth rendition of Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do for Love” with a rap, and turns saucily suggestive on “Keeps Me Up All Night.” She sets her urgent poetic lyrics against a violin-driven, electro-fusion background on “Be Electric,” and a spacious musical bed, highlighted by romantic saxophone, swirls around her imagistic vocals on the title track. Lisa B’s off-center style won’t appeal to everyone, but Center of the Rhyme presents a unique and unconventional approach to jazz vocals.

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