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New Rachael Price CD Garners Early Acclaim

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Rachael Price Fans and critics are welcoming the latest recording from 23-year-old vocalist Rachael Price. “An alarmingly mature delivery," writes George Harris in the LA Jazz Weekly, “mix Anita O'Day's timing with a young Sarah Vaughan's sense of dynamics, and you get a feel for why she sang with T.S. Monk's sextet.... [there is] lots to like and adore on this welcome release by a lady whose value is likely to rise."

Entitled The Good Hours, Price's new offering reveals the steady development of an artist who already showed promise at the age of seventeen with the release of Dedicated to You. “No unheralded artist has hooked me as quickly," wrote Jazzpolice.com of her earlier work. Yet this latest effort displays a startling maturation. “A lot can happen in five years, especially at my age," says Price. “Since my first CD, I started and completed a degree in Jazz Studies at the New England Conservatory, studying with Dominique Eade, worked with the T.S. Monk Sextet and toured regularly with my own trio."

The hard work really paid off for Price, if The Good Hours is any evidence. Ably accompanied by her trio (Warren Wolf on piano and vibes, Erik Privert on bass, David Brophy on drums), she confidently navigates the difficult waters of a challenging repertoire with a poise and assurance that singers twice her age might envy. “95 out of 100," writes Scott Albin reviewing on Jazz.Com, and adds “Price is one of the best young jazz singers around, and thanks to the encouragement and support of T.S. Monk, Nnenna Freelon and Nancy Wilson, has started gaining the recognition her talent deserves. On The Good Hours, Price applies her powerful but flexible voice to a program of standards, and exhibits both an assured maturity and interpretive skills that are not commonly seen in someone so young."

It is risky for a young singer to tackle material already explored by virtually every great vocalist. We can almost hear the groaning of Mark Saleski, of Jazz.com, upon learning that Price dared include Mood Indigo on her CD. “While I don't normally lean toward being a skeptic," Saleski writes, “it goes without saying that maybe the jazz world doesn't need another take on Mood Indigo. No, it needs this one. She might be 23 years old, but her voice goes far, far beyond that. With echoes of both Abbey Lincoln and (gulp!) Amy Winehouse, I was just mesmerized."

Price shows similar innovation with original takes on Skylark and You Go To My Head--titles which easily could have been nothing but the rehash of old chestnuts, yet in the hands of Price seem as if we have not heard them before. Her arrangement of The Trolley Song, with its clever tempo changes, and a soulful and bluesy approach to Serenade in Blue, deserve special mention. Of the latter, Scott Albin writes, “Serenade in Blue is one of Price's finest performances....thanks to her seemingly perfect pitch, artfully sustained notes and gorgeous vibrato, Price conquers this tricky theme in graceful and captivating fashion. She displays a range of attack that extends from a purring, silky smoothness, to a hard-edged brassiness, and handles the jaunty, backbeated midsection with authority."

Of other tracks, critic George Harris comments, “She's able to let loose with some linguistic dexterity on the fly-by-the-seat Love You Madly and That Old Black Magic.“ Her decision to sing in Spanish on Miguel Matamoros's classic Lagrimas Negras, has caused even native Latin singers to take notice, as Sacha Boutros, upon hearing the recording exclaimed “many artists that sing in Spanish and are not convincing and [Price] has a wonderful pronunciation of Spanish and beautiful tone."

Rounding out The Good Hours, Price offers a hard-swinging Stairway to the Stars, an expressively rubato I Only Have Eyes For You and a Latin-tinged From This Moment On.

A few years ago JazzPolice.com posed the question of Price, “I have no idea what this voice will be like in ten years, but it is both scary and thrilling to wonder." With the release of The Good Hours, we may have an answer that doesn't need ten years to find out. Indeed, Scott Albin might have been right this week when he proclaimed that “Price may be a star about to be born."


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