Sara Gazarek's Five Favorite Vocalists
Courtesy of Sara Gazarek Pianist Josh Nelson and vocalist Sara Gazarek keep themselves amused.
Jazz vocalist Sara Gazarek has been in Los Angeles for over a decade. In that time, she has established herself as one of the pre-eminent young interpreters of the Great American Songbook as well as tackling her own material and recent pop tunes. She embraces the story of a song, lilting through lyrical gems, buoyed by her great trio of pianist Josh Nelson, bassist Hamilton Price and drummer Zach Harmon. Before the band plays at Spaghettini this Saturday night, Gazarek put a lot of careful consideration into identifying the five vocalists who are currently inspiring her. Ask her at the gig and she might have a completely different list.
Gazarek: He is a young artist that I love because he does a phenomenal job of pushing the genre forward while also respecting the roots and the places that he's come from. Everybody has that one song that is stuck in there and that one line they can't forget. He has a tune called "Royal Eyes" that does that for me. It's hard to find really phenomenal singers who are also great lyricists. It's great and inspiring and he just knows his stuff. Every one of his records sounds different. Each record is a snapshot of who he was just in that moment.
Gazarek: When I was in school, most students would attest to the idea of the onion. You start with the Sarah Vaughans and Ella Fitzgeralds and then you peel back. Kurt was the first contemporary singer I listened to. Tierney Sutton played me his performance of "Downtown" and I was floored by his sense of rhythm, intonation and command. When I dug deeper into his recordings, I really fell in love with the way he crafted his band with his longtime collaborator, Laurence Hobgood. Musically, they grew up together and the way they approached arranging really influenced my band including deconstucting a tune and making it their own and the idea of inserting poetry into his music. I find him incredibly inspiring.