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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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KRISTINE MILLS

BossaToo

Kristine Mills Music
Self produced

 

 

  1. Hold Fast

  2. Journey Back Home

  3. Breathe Your Kiss

  4. It's Over

  5. Meditation

  6. Silhouette

  7. Last First Glance

  8. It's Probably Me

  9. Inutil Paisagem

  10. Not Waiting For Maybe

  11. Burden Of Choice


Kristine Mills - Vocals, percussion, production, arranging

Klaus Mueller - Piano, keyboard, production, arranging

Itaiguara Brandao - Electric bass, acoustic guitar, arranging

Portinho - Drums

Rafael Barata - Percussion


Singer-songwriter Kristine Mills, who hails from Houston, Texas, wasn't previously on my radar before I listened to this, her sixth album. It seems she is an enthusiast for the bossa nova, having released an earlier CD entitled Bossanovafied. There is a Latin flavour pretty well throughout on this occasion, whether bossa or baião. Three of her supporting musicians on this disc are from Brazil, the exception being pianist Klaus Mueller. Six of the compositions are originals by Mills and she collaborated in the writing of two others. Of these, Hold Fast, Silhouette and Burden Of Choice are probably the pick. Perhaps inevitably, there are a couple of Jobim tunes. There's also one of Sting's songs. Mills has an intriguing voice but for a while initially I wondered if she wasn't more of a pop or even a country singer rather than a jazz artiste. There's a distinctly Nashville feel about the opening track, Hold Fast. By the end of the album, however, I found myself converted. She is, in fact, well suited to that fusion of jazz and samba that bossa nova represents.

I enjoyed her treatment of the Jobim numbers. Meditation is a nostalgic and moving recollection of a life. Inutil Paisagem is equally fine, enhanced by an acoustic guitar backing from Brandão. She delivers well, also, on Silhouette and Burden Of Choice, the latter a song featured on her third album, mentioned above. If scat is your thing, there's a touch of it on Not Waiting For Maybe and Mills' jazz-inflected tones are represented to effect on It's Probably Me. Sometimes, when singer-songwriters provide most of the material for their own CD, the results can be a little self-indulgent. In fairness to Mills, however, it must be said that her song writing skills are well-honed and there are strong melodies and apt lyrics to appreciate here. Her voice, to my ears quite distinctive, can range from almost a whisper to something far more dynamic. As for her musicians, they clearly know their way around, as we might expect from the Brazilian contingent. A special word, though, for Mueller whose ease on piano and keyboard is noticeable on so many of the tracks. Back home in Houston, Kristine Mills is regarded as a local treasure (she's picked up a number of awards there). This disc should help to further spread the word about this talented singer-songwriter.

James Poore



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