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Maria Neckam - Crossing and Blending (2005/2011)

15-12-2013, 08:37
Music | Jazz | Vocal Jazz

Maria Neckam - Crossing and Blending (2005/2011)

Artist: Maria Neckam
Title Of Album: Crossing and Blending
Year Of Release: 2011
Label: Independent Release
Genre: Jazz, Vocal
Quality: Mp3
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Total Time: 58:47 Min
Total Size: 142 Mb


1. Kleine Einsicht
2. Blue Birds
3. Hidden Dragon
4. My One And Only Love
5. November
6. The Music
7. Lovesong (for the crazy)
8. 55
9. When You're Gone
10. Connected
11. My Mind
12. Wer Liebt
13. Crossing & Blending
14. Beauty Everywhere

This is the only album by the ensemble Maryland, fronted by the Austrian singer / composer Maria Neckam with pianist Franz von Chossy, bassist Valdi Kolli and drummer Uli Genenger. A few guest musicians participate on some of the tracks. The album was recorded in Netherlands where Neckam was studying at the time vocal Jazz at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. This is her debut recording, a collection of fourteen songs, twelve of which are her compositions and lyrics, one is composed by the pianist to her lyrics and one is a standard. All the lyrics are in English, except in one case, where a poem in German is recited, rather that sung. From the very opening note of this album the listener enters a world of music, which is utterly Maria Neckam´s universe, distinctive, unique and completely irresistible.
Amazingly she manages to set her musical framework at such an early stage of her career. Although still lacking the experience and readiness of a mature artist, her amazing talent and youthful life-force overcome any possible traps and blunders. The album is so amazingly “complete”, full of superb music and heartfelt performances, that all the minor flaws, which are surely present herein, are completely pushed aside and become meaningless in view of the enormous amount of aesthetic pleasure, elegance and intelligence. Neckam´s idiosyncratic style reminds me of the young Annette Peacock, both in her compositional approach and some of her vocal technique.
Singer / composer Lauren Newton also comes to mind, especially on Neckam´s less structured pieces. Neckam´s music shows a wide range of influences and empathies, resulting in an enormously versatile scope of stylistic approaches on this album. Of course a debut album is often characterized by the strong desire to “spill out” vast amount of music, which has been accumulating for a very long time. Although such lack of focus might become a major problem for some artists, in the case of this album the versatility simply serves as an opportunity to show the listener how accomplished Neckam really is. Firmly based in the Jazz tradition, the music amalgamates a plethora of different influences, such as World Music, European neo-romanticism, traditional and experimental vocalese, and many others. Of course Neckam´s charm is all about taking all these different elements and making them completely and uniquely her own. As far as debuts go, this is definitely one of the most impressive ones that a music connoisseur might come across.
Although it had little media coverage and no real impact at the time of its release, it is nevertheless a superb piece of music, which deserves to be re-discovered, especially now in view of Neckam´s more recent success. A charming fruit, somewhat un-ripe and yet already delicious a gem! (Adam Baruch)

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