Daria

Strawberry Fields Forever

oa2 22129

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Paula Edelstein, AXS

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Jazz vocalist Daria has released Strawberry Fields Forever, Songs By The Beatles on Origin/OA2 Records as the culmination of her own extensive solo touring and performance schedule. The 11-track recording features many of The Beatles' most popular compositions that Daria and her 16-member ensemble play with different rhythms and melodic structures while keeping the essences of each song intact.

The opening track, "When I'm 64," is a light-hearted song with a New Orleans shuffle feel that has been re-arranged to create a call and response section with Daria's vocals and the horns. She launches into a swinging groove, scatting with the horns. "Come Together" now has a funky jazz samba rhythm that creates a different quality without overpowering the lyrics. The organ and Fender Rhodes of Jonathan Alford, the roving bass of Sam Bevan and the guitar of Jean Michel Hure drive hard and make a funky statement.

Daria captures John Lennon's inspired moments in "Strawberry Fields Forever" with wistful sentimentality and psychedelic overtones as her voice soars for octaves among keyboards and percussion. "If I Fell" is covered with an Afro-Cuban beat with a lovely flute solo by Matt Eakle, while "Julia," another song composed by John Lennon for his mother who was killed by a drunk driver, has a touching cello played by Alex Kelly that deepens Daria's interpretation of the song which is now a bossa with the quiet lyricism of a jazz ballad.

Overall, this recording, which had its instrumental arrangements by Sam Bevan and Daria, and its vocal arrangements by Daria, makes a new statement about the accessibility of these classic pop songs as vehicles for new interpretations in a jazzy way. The project is unique, creative, and deserves a place in your record collection.






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