Best Of The Batch: Angela Ortiz
All About You
Title: All About You
Angela Ortiz has an album titled All About You, and it serves as a very descriptive lead in to what is inside the CD sleeve. This recording seems to be a biographical and storytelling adventure. I suppose it’s all in the perception of the listener as it would be with any album. It is hard to distinguish what may be fact or fiction not knowing the artist personally, but if you listen to this CD enough you get a good idea from where she is coming from.
After absorbing the thoughtful lyrics and using the music as a background, then switching the order of procession- three spins later it all finally hit home with me. What I found entrancing about Angela is her voice and the way she uses it with the lyrics. She is obviously an individual that has spent many years at her craft, carefully developing her delivery to make every musical note and inflection count for something.
I really felt like it all came together as one piece of work that made me stop and think about her stories in each track. Each track is All About You or the particular individual she is directing all her comments to, like in “Song For Lost Friends” or “Mr. Thomas.” Certainly, these people know who they are, and if they didn’t they do now. The introduction is a real head turner called “Everyone Changes,” which serves as the perfect setup for each successive track. The lyrics refer to how people always realize they need to change after the damage has wreaked its havoc upon a life, and you have lost your partner or your entire family. “Days of Lemonade” is bittersweet, just like the taste of the drink itself. The track is one of reflection and sadness, intimating that the old days are gone and will never return.
All of these reflective songs are set to tinkling piano and layers of organ, courtesy of the vocalist, and filled in with nicely placed brass, guitars, and percussion. The production is as clean as it gets and the sound is rich and full, allowing Ms. Ortiz to come shining through with her elegant vocals. What is unique about this singer is that she sings and talks at the same time, as if she was reading a well thought out poem or play. Her voice is right on the edge of jazz and Broadway, but the music and production bring it out all dressed and ready to go as contemporary pop.
This outstanding indie release deserves several listens before making a final assessment. I listened three times before coming up with mine and I am glad I gave it that opportunity.
01. Everyone Changes (4:16)
02. Dustpan (5:22)
03. Days of Lemonade (3:54)
04. Finish What You Started (4:15)
05. Mr. Thomas (4:32)
06. Steven (2:51)
07. Last of Who You Are (4:45)
08. We Must Be All Right (4:32)
09. Cheshire Cat (3:30)
10. All About You (5:11)
11. Song For Lost Friends (3:30)
Angela Ortiz: piano, organ, vocals
Ryan Scott: acoustic and electric guitars
Dimitri Moderbacher: saxophone and clarinets
Andre Canniere: trumpet and flugelhorn
Bill Campbell-drums and percussion
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