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Singer Splices Tunes for Hybrid Jazz Sound

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Some jazz singers forge a distinctive identity by finding overlooked tunes, while others put an indelible stamp on familiar standards through the force of their personality. And then there are the rarefied few who weave a new repertoire out of whole cloth, outfitting their book with material transformed by a bracing new concept.

Jacqui Naylor, a self-possessed San Francisco vocalist with a pleasingly smoky sound, belongs to the latter category. She started her career as a jazz chanteuse captivated by the American Songbook, but in recent years she's distinguished herself with a surprisingly effective strategy she calls “acoustic smashing." Through an ingenious process of musical alchemy, she melds seemingly disparate songs, combining beloved pre-rock standards with contemporary songs from the rock era.

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