by Hrayr Attarian
Gayle Kolb - Vocals
Tom Garling - Trombone
Bobby Broom- Guitar
Joey Skoch- Piano
Dennis Carroll - Bass
George Fludas - Drums
Versatile vocalist Gayle Kolb has an impressive, albeit interrupted resumé. In the 1970s Kolb successfully performed in lounges and clubs and in a variety of styles both on the west coast as well as her native Chicago. This was before taking a long hiatus to take care of her family. In the early 2000s she returned to the music scene focusing primarily on jazz. The culmination of this second phase of her career is her much overdue and superb debut Getting Sentimental.
Joining Kolb on this highly enjoyable album are a quintet of Chicago’s finest musicians. One of the highlights of the recording is bassist Dennis Carroll’s intricate and intriguing “Wing”. The first part of the song is a very intimate and bluesy duet between Kolb and up and coming pianist Joey Skoch. Skoch’s dense chords echo against Kolb’s resonant voice and emotive articulation. In perfect contrast the second section is expansive and hard swinging as the rest of the band enters with effervescent excitement. Guitarist Bobby Broom and trombonist Tom Garling engage in an electrifying dialogue that fades seamlessly into the main song as Kolb returns with her thrilling and erudite vocals.
The passionate “Stairway to the Stars” has a nocturnal cabaret atmosphere that envelopes Kolb’s throaty and simmering singing. Skoch’s chiming keys and Carroll’s lyrical reverberating strings mix with drummer George Fludas’ softly brushed thrums and splashing cymbals to create an elegant and dramatic backdrop for Kolb’s suave performance.
Equally moving is Kolb’s interpretation of Harry Warren and Al Dubin’s classic “September In the Rain”: Skoch opens the tune with expansive lines. The band supports Kolb with warm refrains and lilting interplay. Garling and Broom follow Kolb with eloquent and inventive solos that add a cinematic touch to the piece.
Even though it has taken Kolb decades to record, this delightful disc showcases her mature artistry and inspiring spontaneity well. This brilliant release exemplifies the old adage better late than never. Hopefully Kolb will continue to produce works of this caliber for years to come.
Visit www.GayleKolb.com to purchase the new recording Getting Sentimental