Redefinition is one of those CDs where a group of students, here from the Arts West School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Eagle, Idaho, get to show off their musical talents. In this case the kids are all vocalists who look to be in their teens and sound very polished and professional. You wouldn't expect teenagers to grasp the nuances and meaning of "My Funny Valentine" and "You Don't Know What Love Is" so don't expect heavy interpretations here. This is simply a group of earnest young voices impressing through sheer sound and power. Camille Avery is eye-opening on "My Man's Gone Now" and Cari Stevens is effective on a dead slow version of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time." Fara Sumbureru does a lively Jazz-Funk version of Prince's "Nothing Compares To You" while Karmen Wolf sings two songs that are more rock than Jazz, "Much Further To Go" and "Both Sides Now" in a soft, conversational style. The one male on the disc, Harris Wolf, does the old spiritual "City Called Heaven" in a solemn, rising baritone and Mary Thompson surprises at the ends with a rendition of Coldplay's "Sparks" that is more quietly mature and sensual than anything else on the CD.
The arrangements of pianist Justin Nielsen are interesting but never complex or wild in a way that would overwhelm the young singers. The individual playing by Nielson, Thomas Marriott, and John McLean stands out as well. It all makes a nice showcase for a group of talented students, some of whom will hopefully go on to serious musical careers.