Jazz vocalist/composer Chris McNulty's new CD Whispers the Heart, out September 12, 2006 on the Elefant Dreams label, showcases her unique vision, strong individual style and boundless creative energy. Her risk-taking, fluid, and powerful emotional approach support but never compromise her musical sensibilities as she combines her talent as both vocalist and composer. She is consummate musician with great pitch and control and her compositions have been hailed as rich harmonically, melodically and lyrically --well worthy of the company they keep along side the standards she continues to interpret and explore.
On her 6th release, Whispers the Heart, McNulty has once again hand picked a veritable who's who from the contemporary jazz scene, along with an appearance by tenor sax great Frank Wess, who contributes an exquisite solo on the Bacharach/David tune Make It Easy On Yourself". From the opening tune to the very last you will be reminded over and over again of just how much passion, heart and musical savvy this vocalist-composer infuses into everything she sings.
Along with her co-producing partner Paul Bollenback, who shares the stage with Chris on several stunning ballads as well as contributing several arrangements, this recording also features the work of Ingrid Jensen, Dave Pietro, Tineke Postma (Holland), Ed Howard, Matt Wilson, Rogerio Boccato, Gary Versace and Montez Coleman.
The recording kicks off with Bollenback's hard swinging arrangement of Michel Legrand's Summer Me, Winter Me", and melts into a stunning rendition of McNulty's arrangement of Make It Easy On Yourself". Come Rain or Shine" follows in a similar hard grooving fashion to the opening track, ending as a shuffle romp with McNulty's voice wailing over the top. Springosphere", one of several McNulty originals, features her string quartet arrangement and is just as the title suggests, an exuberant, uplifting and powerful statement both compositionally and lyrically. Both renditions of If You Never Come" and How Deep Is the Ocean" shine, attesting to why McNulty is so highly regarded for her ballad singing. Quiet Your Thoughts" opens with an ethereal quality featuring horns and voice exchanging simple melodic variations and works its way into a shifting Latin groove. The album ends with the magnificent Thad Jones composition, When Love Was You And Me (Summary)" performed as a duet in the most intimate of settings, highlighting the exquisite chemistry between McNulty and Bollenback. As passionate and stirring as it is ground breaking in style and originality, Whispers the Heart is scheduled for release September 12th, 2006 on the Elefant Dreams label.
...one of the finest vocal recordings of 2006." --Scott Yanow, July 2006
...a rich and expressive voice...soaked in swing and blues and an ability to improvise that's straight from the heart." --Robert A. Lindquist, Singer Magazine
Wonderfully expressive, demonstrating soaring confidence... her broad range of dynamics and deft vocal skills shine throughout." --Jazz Improv