On this fine recording Living in a Dream the proverbial ingénue, Kalya Ramu reveals herself as an artist of the first order, broadening out from the popular song repertory for which she seems to the manor born so to speak. Her instrument is gorgeous: lustrous, precise and feather-light. Her musicianship is also fierce as she digs into the expression of each word, brings ceaseless variety to soft dynamics and gives every phrase a special grace on an album featuring beautifully crafted arrangements of beguiling variety and sensuousness. Best of all, on each of eleven songs Kalya Ramu exhibits a gleaming tonality blended with an articulate engagement with the instruments played by a group of artists deeply attuned to her vision and artistry.
You can feel the depth of her vocal artistry in every lovingly caressed phrase of “Just You Just Me”, while on “Tea for Two” her spry vocalastics shine brightly. Her chosen material judiciously focuses on some of the most widely-known popular songs from the American Songbook with exquisite compositions of her own. Listening to the way in which Miss Ramu seductively bends the notes in “Find in Me” and “She Drinks Alone”, and how she sculpts the long, sustained inventions of “Living in a Dream” it’s quite clear that there’s not a single semiquaver that hasn’t been fastidiously considered.
Featuring Jacob Gorzhaltsan as her melodic instrumental doppelgänger and a rhythm section that includes Connor Walsh on bass and Ian Wright on drums together with pianist Ewen Farncombe Miss Ramu is supported with a frontline that delivers a mutually illuminating performance. Meanwhile a host of guests including the inimitable Andrew McAnsch on trumpet who delivers an exquisite performance on “Am I Blue” Miss Ramu delivers a profoundly beautiful performance that is, by any measure, great music-making by an artist with an extraordinarily beautiful voice.
Track list – 1: Little One; 2: Just You Just Me; 3: Find in Me; 4: Four or Five Times; 5: She Drinks Alone; 6: Am I Blue; 7: Tea for Two; 8: What’s New; 9: It’s a Good Day; 10: You Go to My Head; 11. Living in a Dream
Personnel – Kalya Ramu: vocals; Jacob Gorzhaltsan: tenor saxophone and clarinet; Ewen Farncombe: piano; Connor Walsh: contrabass; Ian Wright: drums; and special guests – William Lamoureux: strings (3); Andrew McAnsh: trumpet (6); Nathan Ford: vocals (7); Nathan Martin & Jackson Welchner: background vocals (1, 11)
Released – 2019
Label – Independent
Runtime – 36:59