A Little Background . . .
Cris Barber is considered one of the premier jazz vocalists in Southern California with a style uniquely her own. She infuses each performance with an innate soulfulness as she engages her audience with energy and passion – along with her warm, smooth voice – and that special quality embraced by today's top jazz performers.
Cris has performed at several Jazz Festivals throughout Southern California and has shared the stage with such well-known and Grammy-winning performers as Diane Schurr, Stanley Clark, Steve Tyrell, Karrin Allyson and Jeff Kashiwa.
With an impressive 5 CDs in release, multiple award nominations, top five finalist in the Southern California Music Awards and a Best Jazz Artist Orange County Music Award win to her credit, Cris' vocal style has gained her fans across the world and radio airplay in over 20 countries.
All of her recordings feature some of the best musicians in Los Angeles. They masterfully blend with Cris' vocal style for a wonderful, cohesive sound indicative of a truly GREAT jazz album.
By: Edward Blanco
Southern California award-winning jazz vocalist Cris Barber has released her fourth album with “This Moment To Be Free” and it’s another winner of a recording. Often compared to Diana Krall, Barber uses her warm smooth vocals to interpret a terrific selection of pop and jazz standards like Victor Young’s “My Foolish Heart,” Cole Porter’s “Love For Sale,” and Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird” to name a few. All together the CD boasts fourteen tunes where the lady swings and voices love ballads to the heart.
What makes this album a success is not only Barber’s vocal talents but her phenomenal backup. Assisting the Singer here is a core quintet comprised of first-call Los Angeles studio and concert players among them, Karen Hammack (piano), Barry Cogert (bass), Aldo Bentivegna (drums), Kurt Rasmussen (percussions), Jamie Findlay (guitar) and Greg Vail (sax and flute). Also appearing as special guest is guitarist Laurie Morvan performing on her original, “Family Line,” and Mark Barnes playing the Hammond B3 on “Family Line” and “What Is It.”
Eden Ahbez’s classic standard “Nature Boy” is given one heck of an overhaul here as Barber voices the lyrics to a splendid Latin jazz rendition for one of the finer tunes on the disc. The lady and the band swing on the jazz staple “Devil May Care” with superb piano chops from Hammack. This tune is followed up by another sizzler in “What A Little Moonlight Can Do” where saxophonist Vail scorches one behind the singer’s lead.
Barber shows a bit of her tender side on Duke Ellington’s “I Got It Bad,” and the love tune “Be Sure,” then turns a bit funky on the pop finale of “Sunny” completing one fine session of wonderful light hearted contemporary jazz with a twist. “This Moment To Be Free” is one of the finer jazz vocals recordings you’ll find this year and Cris Barber’s splendid performance is one reason why.
Label: 37 Records
Artist Website: www.crisbarber.com