WHIRIMAKO BLACK - Soul Sessions
Whirimako Black's fifth album sees the Maori songstress giving her own personal touch to 11 jazz standards, including such classics as 'Stormy Weather', 'Georgia' and 'Black Coffee'. Seven of the tunes are sung in Te Reo Maori - although, for those of us who aren't fluent in New Zealand's native tongue, the emotion and sensitivity Black puts into each song more than makes up for any loss of literal understanding.
And with a backing band that features the talents of two of the extraordinarily talented Haines family (father Kevin on upright bass and son Joel on guitar), as well other NZ jazz maestros Kevin Field (piano, Rhodes) and Ron Samson (drums), Black's voice is given all the space it needs to weave its subtle spell over the listener. Her silky smooth voice is perfectly suited to this selection of songs, the spirit and soul she imbues into each tune, combined with the Te Reo aspect, gives this selection of familiar jazz classics a whole new lease of life.
Having received a NZ Order of Merit for her services to Maori Music (2006), a Silver Scroll for songwriting (for 'Tini Whetu' in 2005), and the NZ Music Award for Best Maori Language Album in 2001, we can probably expect more accolades to be headed Black's way thanks to this excellent release.
Details1 Marangai (Stormy Weather)
2 Horia (Georgia On MY Mind)
3 Good Morning Heartache
4 Kawhe Mangu (Black Coffee)
5 Cry Me A River
6 Konehunehu (Misty)
7 What A Difference A Day Makes
8 He Raumati (Summertime)
9 The Look Of Love
10 Pumau Te Aroha (Our Love Is Here To Stay
11 Nga Rau Ngahuru (Autumn Leaves)