Liz Parks
Raise the Roof


Not to discount any other part of the universe, but why is it that some of the best jazz vocalist originate out of Britain? Is there anything in the air or water over there that makes it such a fertile ground for such an assault of great talent? Perhaps it's the musical cross-pollination that occurred sometime in the 80's when acid jazz emerged on the scene or perhaps it's the further brewing of soul, r&b, jazz and other genres that sparked a renewed interested in the genre? Latest vocalist to appear on the scene is one Liz Parks, someone who apparently has little former music experience. Sure, she studied music in a conservatory and she also performed one song on Chris Bowden's 2001 album. Then, a few years back, she released her debut "Watching Space". "Raise the Roof" is her "big-label" debut, considering the previous album was an indie label release. Produced by Riaan Vosloo and Ben Lamdin [Nostalgia 77], the album is brimming with soulful excursions that rub shoulders with jazz. Lucky enough to have a set of vocal chords that transcend variety of deep transgressions, Parks sings her ass off. While sweet, her voice captures a longing quality and at times, she's able to express anger and frustration without much effort. Listen to the way Parks whispers sensuality all over the caressing "Time" or the sadness that's all over "Leaving Home". Her band is quite solid as well. With Ross Stanley leading the charge on softly spoken piano and organ, Fulvio Sigurta on scorching trumpet leads as well as flugelhorn and a complementary rhythm section made up of bassist Riaan Vosloo and percussionist Graham Fox, Parks also adds a reed and brass section to the mix that makes an appearance on few of the numbers. For a bonus, an eight piece string section pops in to make some songs take on a floating, orchestral feel. "Raise the Roof" is an exquisite album, one that yells sex and is ideal for a lazy afternoon.

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