This recording Blue Heaven is a very personal take on some of the most beloved American Standards; an offering by Lucy Yeghiazaryan, an individual voice of tremendous poetry, integrity and depth who seems to have simply exploded on the contemporary scene. The world of music shines in her masterful interpretations of some of these challenging creations by a range of writers of musical stories and love songs. The breathtaking a capella version of “Love Isn’t Everything”, that appears two-thirds of the way down the song-list is a graceful and incisive rendition; an intimate but stirring account of what a masterfully rendered love-song should be, at which point one begins to wonder whether Miss Yeghiazaryan needs anyone around to strut her stuff. Listening to her reach out and grasp the high notes on “Tenderly” brings sinew and songfullnes to a classic in the manner of which others would be hard-pressed to deliver.
Indeed Miss Yeghiazaryan’s triumphs on Blue Heaven are many. “Her duet with guitarist Greg Ruggiero on “Beautiful Moons Ago” is a stellar one – an atmospheric setting of a plain-worded poem of love. Her creamy soprano seems made for this music. Each piece seems a classic with her declamatory vocal ardour, often set in swinging finesse, and delivered in a confluence of style and substance all the while regaling us with a sort of tinkling minimalism of music beautifully sculpted by Mr Ruggiero, saxophonist Grant Stewart, bassist Daniel Duke, joined here by the incomparable Steve Williams on drums.
Miss Yeghiazaryan seems to breeze through the repertoire, soaring upwards on words and phrases bearing stories and emotions as if they were hers and hers alone. Her top register is as golden as ever, matched only by the smoky sultriness of the lows that she is also capable of. The gentle, built-in vibrato that seems to wiggle in the tail of some phrases makes for an intimate yet classic tone required for these musings on love and a range of other breathy emotions. The musicians who accompany her couldn’t be more loving and with Miss Yeghiazaryan’s soft, seductive singing they offer some exquisitely calibrate material captured in rich acoustic and crystal-clear sound.
Track list – 1: Sweet Pumpkin; 2: Nobody Else But Me; 3: That Ole Devil Called Love; 4: It’s Crazy; 5: Tenderly; 6: Thou Swell; 7: Love Isn’t Everything; 8: I Wish I Knew; 9: I Got A Feeling’ I’m Fallin’; 10: Beautiful Moons Ago; 11: My Blue Heaven
Personnel – Lucy Yeghiazaryan: vocals; Greg Ruggiero: guitar; Grant Stewart: tenor saxophone; Daniel Duke: bass; Steve Williams: drums
Released – 2019
Label – Cellar Music
Runtime – 44:07