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CD REVIEW: Sandy Foster - Marooned
By Francesco Emmanuel - 10/29/2005 - 02:39 PM EDT

Artist: Sandy Foster
Album: Marooned
CD Review: Marooned is Sandy Foster's third studio album, released June 2005. The last three years has seen the dawn of this latest Edmonton Jazz crooner. Sandy debuted Perplexed, January 2003 which was nominated for Jazz/Blues album of the year (VIBE Awards 2004), her sophomore effort, Orangify was nominated for Jazz/Blues Album (SHAI Awards 2005). From the sound of things, Sandy's music can never be marooned on anyone's shelf for long, it might be a permanent fixture in your CD player though.

Soft, standard jazz formats are accompanied by piano, guitar, upright bass, flute, drums and soprano sax. There are a few slow-paced, comtemplatative piano numbers, along with a couple of swing tunes, there's also three mambo/latin-flavoured pieces. The album opener, 'T'aint what you do,' written by Sly Oliver and James Young, just has that jiving, groovy, finger snapping, feet clicking kinda feeling. The title track that follows suit shuffles along in a mambo vein, Sandy does a great job of adding vocals ever so elegantly. 'Play a song for you, ' a beautiful prayer-like tune for all the children in this world, pauses now and then for Sandy to offer up her musical thoughts.

Her mid-range vocal style has a tone similar to that of Sade and
Norah Jones; soothing, calming the listener (it certainly calmed me!) The duo 'Meet me there' where she's accompanied by vocalist/saxophonist Dave Babcock is laid-back and
sultry. Dave's deep croon allows Sandy's voice to take on a different shape entirely, rather than crowding her out with his vocals and sax playing, the entire song has just enough breathing space to allow all three melody lines to exist interdependantly.

In fact, no instrument overpowers each other, but rather works cohesively to produce this well crafted, subtle jazz piece of art. What is derived here, is the level of maturity each musician brings to the table. It is said that we are only as good as the people we associate ourselves with, in this case, Sandy has just the right talent behind her voice.

Each song has it's own story, which Sandy briefly reveals in the liner notes of the CD jacket. She gives the listener a look into her world, both musically and lyrically.

She is a jazz singer/songwriter, telling tales of her life, her family, her loved ones, joys and sorrows. It is for that matter a rather personal, heartfelt album. It is an album about the very existence of our humanity. It is a positive record of hope.

Sandy draws listeners into her world, but yet tells it in such a way that anyone can relate to her songs. With three albums under her belt, and with critical recognition for her work to date, Sandy's Marooned truly is a lovely, well written and produced, standard jazz album.

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