On her first landmark CD, Brigitte Zarie made the humble request, “Make Room For Me.” And the world did. With that work, she carved out a unique place in the world of jazz as one of the few jazz singers whose lyrical and composing abilities match her performing prowess. Now with her latest effort, “L’Amour,” she follows up with an album that is just as unique and soulful, but also offers an emotional dimension that showcases her evolution into an artist not afraid to confront life’s essential truths.
Love in all its forms is the topic here, and Brigitte unearths stories of uncommon honesty and unforgettable resonance. Once again backed by a fantastic cadre of notable players, including Randy Brecker, Blue Lou Marini, Sean Pelton, John Tropea and other luminaries, Brigitte has created music both entertaining and timeless. “’Make Room For Me’ had a bold, raucous big band sound, while ‘L’Amour’ uses strings to evoke a more lush and passionate feeling,” she says. Recorded live at Avatar Studios in Manhattan, the music is polished, energetic, and just as powerful as before, only this time her singing has evolved into a more personal, reflective tone. One might call it soulful and even wistful at times, but one thing is certain: this is a deeply personal work that comes from the most meaningful depths of Brigitte’s heart.
This determination to sing about reality and the human condition in all of its forms highlights Brigitte’s lyrical and musical evolution. With “L’Amour” Brigitte offers a variety of themes that captivate listeners, but also never shys away from reality. When Brigitte’s mother Marie passed away during the recording of “L’Amour,” the feeling of the recording process and even her vocal quality changed, becoming far more personal, emotional and powerful. Brigitte bravely uses this experience as inspiration, crafting new songs that discuss life on an even more passionate level. She even decided to include a few covers, but not just any covers. In typical Brigitte fashion, she once again stays true to her own personal vision, including a version of “I Walk The Line,” by the immortal Johnny Cash. (Briggitte’s beloved mother was a huge Johnny Cash fan, and as a tribute to her, she recorded it in her own unique style.) Another unexpected cover is a beautiful version of the Stan Getz-Jobim classic “Corcovado,” which was one of the first songs Brigitte fell in love with as a girl, and one which her father and brother played in her home growing up. Both songs serve as an homage to her roots, and the people that she will always hold dear.
It’s this kind of originality and integrity that has made Brigitte such a memorable performer and fan favorite. “I have so many different feelings that I need to explore, and writing is the best way to express them,” she has stated. This bold determination to follow her own vision has resulted in a new work that brings her artistry to a deeper and more emotional level than ever before. “I put my heart out there on this one, and I think it shows on every track. It certainly did to Paul Shaffer, as evidenced by his recent quote, “This girl is a star.”
“L’Amour,” by the one and only Brigitte Zarie. An artist whose love for her craft shines as brightly as her unforgettable voice.