MARY FOSTER CONKLIN — Photographs (review)

MARY FOSTER CONKLIN — Photographs album cover Album · 2016 · Vocal Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
js
With so many female jazz vocalists performing these days how can an artist stand out? While other instrumentalists may use pyrotechnics to impress, this is not always a wise route for vocalists where extreme performance can be more annoying than endearing. On her new album, “Photographs”, Mary Foster Conklin wisely avoids any attempt to grandstand with her voice, but instead pulls you in with her ability to convey a story as she presents an interesting and complex personality that you want to hear more from. Some compare Conklin’s sense of story to cabaret, and there is some truth to that, but she has more in common with story oriented folk-jazz artists like Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon than old school cabaret.

It helps that care was taken to give each song its own sound. There is a core rhythm section on most tracks, but many songs also feature additional instrumentalists, on sax, muted cornet or guitar, who intertwine with Conklin’s voice. The song selection is also superb with very few overplayed selections. Five tracks feature the lyrics of beat poet Fran Landesman, while other tracks feature writers like Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell and Oscar Brown Jr. “Photographs” will grow on you, and that’s mostly because of Mary’s personality. She is a master of conveying world-weary bitter sweet emotions, tempered with an odd unlikely sense of optimism.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

New Shoes: Kind of Blue at 60 – Schapiro 17 Progressive Big Band
JON SCHAPIRO
Buy this album from MMA partners
Chester Gorilla Fusion
CHESTER GORILLA
Buy this album from MMA partners
Simon Below Quartet ‎: Elements of Space 21st Century Modern
SIMON BELOW
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Blue in Green
JON SCHAPIRO
js· 10 hours ago
Hymn to the Stars Take 1
SIMON BELOW
js· 18 hours ago
Shemekia Copeland - Uncivil War
SHEMEKIA COPELAND
snobb· 2 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us