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Kim Nazarian: Some Morning

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Among New York Voices’ extant lineup, united for 23 of the group’s 27 years, Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan and Darmon Meader have released a combined total of eight solo albums. The lone holdout, soprano Kim Nazarian, at last joins her cohorts, more than making up for lost time with this superlative collection of covers and originals, liberally sprinkled with A-list guests.

Working with charts ranging from duet to big band, Nazarian eases in with a lightly swung blend of “Robbin’s Nest” and J.J. Johnson’s “Boneology”; a misty “Tell Him I Said Hello,” enriched by clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera’s serpentine solo; and a winsome sashay through “Gotta Be This or That,” with vocal partner John Pizzarelli doubling on guitar.

Irving Berlin’s “What’ll I Do,” one of five tracks featuring trombonist Jay Ashby, Nazarian’s husband and co-producer, is adroitly reimagined, her aching vocal offset by a turbulent arrangement that hovers between fury and madness. Her shimmering take on Stevie Wonder’s “If It’s Magic” floats atop an intriguing, cashmere-soft beat that suggests an Asian-influenced bossa, and the stop-start carousel ride of “Que Sera Sera” is a swirling delight.

Two distinctly joyous originals are also standouts. The African-influenced title track, a gentle ode to heartfelt awakenings featuring Gary Burton on vibes and backing vocals by Eldridge, unfolds like a magnificent morning glory, while “Road to Kursk,” showcasing Ashby alongside trumpeters Sean Jones and Steve Hawk, is a vibrant exercise in wordless exultation.

Originally Published