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Lisa Sokolov: A Quiet Thing

Lisa Sokolov

Yes, the album takes its name from its closing track, a rose petal-soft ballad written by Kander and Ebb for Flora, the Red Menace. But is the title also intended teasingly? It’s difficult to equate vocalist and pianist Lisa Sokolov with “quiet”: stealthy, restive, forceful and fearless, definitely, but rarely quiet. Even when Sokolov explores the tender folds of “You Go to My Head,” stretching each phrase to languid extreme, an urgent restlessness roils beneath her intense longing.

With her cat-scratch voice, her skill at phrasing with much the same unfettered, gritty gutsiness as Billie Holiday and her ability to shape a stylistic pastiche that contains elements of Blossom Dearie’s verve, Nancy Wilson’s silkiness and Sheila Jordan’s ingenuity, Sokolov adds up to a startling fresh original who is the antithesis of tranquility.

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