Susan Krebs Band – Everything Must Change
Article first published as Music Review on Blogcritics – From Baltimore to Los Angeles, and from actor to singer, Susan Krebs the self-professed “jazz gardener” likes to dig, cultivate, grow and flourish. Krebs’ music wraps itself around the listener like a big hug. How can one not enjoy the whole grain, organic pleasure of jazz classics about spring, love, flowers and stars? These are eight tunes that clearly provide considerable meaning, direction, and personal reflection for Krebs. They’re the kinds of songs that provide for plaintive, soothing contemplation. Whether a Cole Porter classic (“What Is This Thing Called Love?”) or Billy Strayhorn tune (“A Flower is a Lovesome Thing”), the songs don’t rush things with creative four-six minute arrangements that allow for warm, expressive conversations between the vocalist and instrumentalists.
Krebs’ earthy vocal presence is surrounded by the intimacy of her longtime collaborators, Rich Eames (piano) and Jerry Kalaf (drums), who together co-produced this project like their last in 2007 — the enthusiastically received “Jazz Aviary.” Ryan McGillicuddy (bass) and Chuck Manning (saxophones) round out the quintet for this current project, while the closing “feel-good single” called “Are Ya Havin’ Any Fun?” also taps Scott Breadman (percussion), Steve Huffsteter (trumpet), and Riner Scivally (guitar) for a carefully cultivated full combo sound.
In her interpretive cover of Bernard Ighner’s “Everything Must Change” (and featuring Chuck Manning’s fine sax work), Krebs proclaims in song that “Rain comes from the clouds, Sun lights up the sky, And music, The music, Sweet music, Oh music, Makes me cry.” Thus, Krebs displays her love of good songs, as well as the emotional and symbiotic relationship which she intimately has with them. Throughout the entire set, she exudes confidence and delivers the musical goods in a sturdy, self-assured, affable manner. She’s a sincere singer whose ballads and sense of swing remind me of Shirley Horn. At the same time, think Sheila Jordan for the witty interpretation that Krebs and company provide in the joyously refreshing closing number. (Joe Ross, CD Insight)