Sasha’s Bloc + Jane Monheit, “Feels Like Jazz” (2015): Exclusive Something Else! stream

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Take a pre-war jazz era-inspired journey with this exclusive advance stream from Heart on Fire, the new album from Sasha’s Bloc. This West Coast jazz collective, led by songwriting bassist Alex Gershman, is joined by Grammy-nominated guest vocalist Jane Monheit on the darkly intriguing “Feels Like Jazz.”

Sasha’s Bloc cites signature early jazz voices like Fats Waller, Scott Joplin and Duke Ellington as key influences, and “Feels Like Jazz” certainly makes good on that — but with a fresh perspective for a new age. You’ll hear something that harkens back to the cabaret style of jazz favored in the 1920s and ’30s, only with a contemplative twist.

See, rather than becoming absorbed in the era’s fabled hedonism, our protagonist approaches her club job as a craft. And in that determination, she finds significance. Jane Monheit handles the lyric with canny aplomb, imbuing the song with unexpected depths of meaning — then letting loose a strong-willed scat.

Heart on Fire, featuring 10 other originals ranging from Dixieland to classical gas written or co-written by the Moscow-born Gershman, is due on March 17, 2015. Bob McChesney collaborated on the Frank Sinatra-inflected “Lonely Day in Paris” and “Sunday Blues.” Bob Garad was co-writer on “Black and Blue.” Jane Monheit’s most recent full-length album was 2013’s The Heart of the Matter; she’s also worked with Abigail Riccards.

Jimmy Nelson

Jimmy Nelson

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Jimmy Nelson
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