Lies Of Handsome Men Reviews

Here is what others are saying about Glennis' Debut CD

"Winnipeg born Glennis Houston makes her first CD with a title that might well be a reflection of life's difficulties. This may be her first flight, but Glennis takes off well with "Bye Bye Blackbird" showing us a strong confident voice and a fine backing group to match. She sings mainly standards, with a couple co-written. One of these, "The Story's Over", is a strong swinging number, whilst Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" is sung with a provocative sensuality. Michael Creber on piano is immense throughout. He has a clean style that can be punchy and he cuts loose when required, such as on "Cow Cow Boogie" and "I Love A Piano," on which Glennis still manages to sound sensuous. My favorite track is "Sunday Kind Of Love," it gives Glennis the opportunity to show her ability with warmth, expression and clean articulation, there is a beautiful depth to her voice, which is pointed up by the harmonica playing of Keith Bennett. A good first CD."

Ferdinand Maylin
www.jazznow.com

"Lies of Handsome Men sounds like an interesting enough title to look into. So what exactly is behind such a thought provoking statement? The first thing that comes to mind is the opportunity to engage in plenty of extra curricular activities for an attractive individual of the male gender. Glennis Houston sings a lot about men and the disappointment that she has experienced. While they are plentiful and available there does not seem to be too many worth holding onto. Now let us talk about the music and the wonderful voice of Ms. Houston, which is the focus here. She is a marvelously talented vocalist with great tone, focus, and range. The harnessing of her talents allows her to swing (Just Squeeze Me), sing a sexy alluring love song (I Want a Sunday Kind of Love), have some rollicking fun while swinging the night away with a country like flair (Cow Cow Boogie), or be humorous and lighthearted (Twisted) while using her voice to create the necessary atmosphere. She most certainly has the musical support behind her so she can perform at such a high level of consistency. Michael Creber (piano), Miles Hill (bass), and Craig Scott (drums) are a most capable ensemble. Most notably, I found the piano playing very enjoyable throughout the entire CD. The rich textures and colors of the jazz genre ebb and flow like the sea at high tide on this session. The bass (you can tell it’s a standup with its low bottom end sound) and drums are complimentary in every aspect of each track, for both the piano playing and the voice of Glennis. All around this is an excellent release with a solid group of compositions that hold up very well after repeated listens. With a voice like this, who needs handsome men and their lies? Glennis Houston doesn’t. "

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
www.muzikreviews.com

"Tagged as a jazz vocal cd this contains a number of songs that have been covered a multitude of times but mostly remain listenable and fresh. And it is more than just a jazz vocal album since it features not only Houston’s voice interpreting the songs but some very fine playing from, among others, Michael Creber on piano and Miles Hill on acoustic/electric bass. But back to the songs. I never could stand ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ but it’s here and I’ll just say I still hate it though it has nothing to do with Houston’s voice because when she tackles the Ellington/Gaines ‘Just Squeeze Me’ she breathes a sensuality into it and makes sure that the words mean something. Then she brings the same lyrical sensitivity to a song I don’t know, ‘Sunday Kind Of Love’, where she’s supported in just the right measure by piano and, believe it or not, harmonica. The bluesy, relaxed mood suits her voice and she can hold those notes with an intense yearning that I find entirely pleasurable. Among my favourite songs of all time is ‘God Bless The Child’ and I wish she hadn’t taken it at such a pace. I know it’s hard to do something else with it when Billie Holliday has probably done the definitive version – unless you count Eric Dolphy’s breath-taking solo outing on it, that is – but I think Houston’s vocal approach to slower tunes would have worked well here. Still, maybe on another cd sometime. On the other hand the rolling tempo of ‘Cow Cow Boogie’ sounds exactly right and she carries it off with no problem, once more accompanied with panache by Creber’s piano. She even enlivens the much-covered ‘Summertime’ making it sound breezy and warm, partly due to her vocal approach but also thanks to the light, airy flute contributed by John Reid. Back in a more relaxed mode the title song features her breathy intonations that foreground the somewhat bitter-sweet lyrics while the hushed restraint of Craig Scott’s brushwork sympathetically underscores both her voice and some more of that perfectly timed piano. Her own co-written tune ‘Someone Like You’ further highlights her ability to deliver a slower, more contemplative song. This debut contains a great deal of promise that will no doubt be fulfilled on future work where she will, hopefully, develop the slower, more reflective side of her work which is, for me, the most satisfying and successful. "

Paul Donnelly
EJAZZNEWS
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